Unemployment Rate Increases by 1.7%, Highest Recorded Since 2008

Unemployment Rate Increases by 1.7%, Highest Recorded Since 2008

- Statistics South Africa released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey and revealed some disappointing observations

- The unemployment rate in the country increased to 32.5% leaving an extra 701 000 persons unemployed in the country

- Youth unemployment is among the highest unemployment rate in the country

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Statistics South Africa released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) on Tuesday, 23 February. The report revealed that the country's unemployment rate increased by 1.7% to 32.5% in the fourth quarter.

Stats SA revealed that the number of unemployed people in the country increased by 701 000 to 7.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2020. However, the number of employed persons increased by 333 000.

The 32.5% unemployment rate in South Africa is the highest recorded since the start of the QLFS in 2008. The unemployment rate then was 30.8%.

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Mainstream unemployment raite increase by 1.7% in Q4 compared

The unemployment rate in the country increased by 1.7% making it the highest unemployment rate in the country since 2008. Image: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP and Jack Taylor
Source: Getty Images

Take a look at Stats SA's tweet below:

With the rate of unemployment rapidly on the incline, there are some other notable statistics for the country's fourth quarter.

Labour force participation

The labour force participation increased by 1.6% from 55% in quarter three of 2020.

Employment gains

All industries except mining and finance observed employment gains, explained Stats SA. The largest increases were observed in services, construction and private households.

Youth employment

Youth aged between 15 and 24 years old and 25 and 34 years old recorded the highest unemployment rates. 15-24 years old is now on 63.2% while 25-34 years old is now on 41.2%.

2020 was rough for many South Africans who faced adversity in the light of the global pandemic. Briefly.co.za previously reported that the festive season was an even tougher one for South Africans as the Covid-19 pandemic cost an estimated 2.2 million South Africans their jobs.

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While many people chose to look to festivities to inspire hope during the holiday season, soaring food prices mirrored reality. Not many people afforded the luxury of having a braai or putting that traditional gammon on their menu this past Christmas.

The average cost of a food basket for December shot up to R4 000, according to a report by Fresh Plaza. This is a whopping R520 more compared to December 2019. Not too many people can afford that considering that the national minimum wage for general workers is a paltry R3487.68.

In fact, food price data collated over the past three months paint a grim picture, which shows that grocery prices were inflated and increased by 2.2%, according to Stats SA. Basic foodstuffs such as sugar beans, rice, bread and flour were hiked by between 31% and 68%.

Fresh fruit and vegetables, which are a necessity in having a balanced diet, have also been affected by major price increases.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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