In the first quarter of 2020, South Africa’s unemployment rate climbed to 30% – the highest it has been since 2008 – as the number of unemployed people increased by 344,000 to an all-time high of 7.1 million.
This is according to Trading Economics, and is based on the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – which also indicated that employment decreased by 38,000 to 16.4 million.
South Africa’s unemployment rate has been persistently high, and sadly the main driver of economic growth – the youth, aged 15–34 years – has been affected by it the most as they account for 63.4% of all unemployed South Africans in 2020.
What’s more is that although South Africa has made great strides for equal gender representation in the labour market, women are still underrepresented at under 50%.
Reasons for unemployment
While 2020’s increase in unemployment is largely attributable to