SA’s unemployment rate increases to 30.8%

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South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 7.5% points to 30.8% in the third quarter of the year compared with the second quarter. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since in 2008.

According to Statistics South Africa, the results indicate that the number of employed persons increased by 543 000 to 14.7 million in the third quarter of 2020, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 2.2 million to 6.5 million compared to the second quarter of 2020. This resulted in an increase of 2.8 million in the number of people in the labour force.

Stats SA says in spite of the increase in the number of discouraged work-seekers is up by 9.1%, the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 2.9 million between the two quarters, resulting in a net decrease of 2.6 million in the not economically active population.


Of the 14.7 million persons who were employed in quarter three, more than seven out of 10 people, which is 73.2% were expected to work during the national lockdown by the companies or organisations they work for.

Those who actually worked were predominately men in most industries, except in the Community and social services sector and Private households, where the majority were women. About nine out of 10 people employed within the Construction industry who worked during the lockdown, were men.

Below is the full report: