Statistics South Africa says the country’s unemployment rate is now at 32.5% – the highest since the start of the quarterly labour force survey in 2008.

This as the country’s economy continues to take a beating from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest unemployment rate is a new record high as the third quarter 30.8% rate was also described as the highest since 2008.

The results of the latest survey, show that the number of unemployed South Africans increased by 701 000 to 7.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2020. This resulted in an increase of 1.0 million (up by 4.9%) in the number of people in the labour force.

The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 235 000 (8.7%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 1.1 million (7.4%) between the two quarters, resulting in a net decrease of 890 000 in the not economically active population.

Fifteen million South Africans now have jobs, after 333 000 others were employed during the fourth quarter.

Below is a SABC News report on rising numbers of unemployed South Africans: