Data released by Statistics South Africa has shown that the unemployment rate has increased by 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019 to 29 percent, the highest level since the first quarter of 2008.
“This is highest it has gone since the first quarter of 2008 since we began the quarterly labor force survey,” said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.
The data showed an increase from 27.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019. People who have stopped looking for work rose to 38.5 percent in the second quarter from 38.0 percent in the previous quarter.
“An increase of 21 000 in the number of people in employment in the second quarter of 2019 was mainly driven by Trade Community and social services Construction and Manufacturing,” the report noted.
On the other hand, employment losses were majorly driven by private households, transport, mining, and finance, Stats SA said.
This year, big companies have announced retrenchments. Corporates like the Standard Bank, Group Five, Absa, Multichoice, Sibanye-Stillwater, Tongaat Hulett, among many others have made known their lay off plans. A number of them cited South Africa’s tough economic environment as the reason for sacking employees.
After South Africa experienced a recession end of 2018, the country has not been able to recover. Currently, the economy is contracting with its public debt spiraling. Its public sector is impaired with state entities like Eskom in a debt crisis.
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