News | Opinion
This week’s announcement of the latest unemployment figures came as no surprise. What did hit home hard was just how bad the situation really is.
Lockdown had a detrimental affect on employment in the second quarter. We knew this. But the latest figures is a kick to the stomach. Following Stats SA’s release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of the year, unemployment stands at a record 30.8%, meaning 6.5 million people are jobless.
Compared with a year ago, Stats SA said total employment had decreased by 1.7 million. Prior to Covid-19, South Africans battled to make ends meet.
The toll this is now taking on the poor is unbearable. Government is correct when it says it just doesn’t have jobs for the unemployed, but industry leaders and the public sector need to come up with ways to arrest the slide.
All is not lost, yet. Even though lockdown restrictions have been eased over the past few months, these figures show the market could face permanent damage. Many experts predict early 2021 could even show a 40% unemployment rate. These are worrying times indeed.
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