#Other countries : The official unemployment rate in South Africa jumped to 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, a record since the calculation of these quarterly statistics began in 2008, the government’s statistics agency announced on Tuesday.
The number of unemployed increased by 701,000 compared to the third quarter, reaching 7.2 million, the agency said.
South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized economy, was already in recession when the coronavirus epidemic spread in March 2020. Restrictive measures trying to stop the spread of the virus further exacerbated the economic situation.
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The State Statistics Agency also provided a broader notion of unemployment, which differs from the official rate, which takes into account only the number of people actively looking for work.
Therefore, she explains, if we take into account the “discouraged” unemployed people who gave up all surveys, the number of unemployed in the fourth quarter we must add 235 000 people, an increase of 8, 7% compared to the third.
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But if we add the unemployed who gave up the survey “for reasons not discouraged”, the number of total unemployed fell in the fourth quarter by 1.1 million, a decrease of 7, 4% compared to the third.
If we integrate the number of unemployed who dropped out of the survey (all categories together) with the number of unemployed in the fourth quarter – taking into account the official rate – we will reach an unemployment rate of 42.6% for the fourth quarter, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points in relative to the third.