SA unemployment rate hit record-high: 30.1%... BEFORE COVID-19
South Africa – The results of the quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2020 indicate that employment decreased by 38,000 to 16,4 million and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 7,1 million. As a result, the official unemployment rate increased by 1 percentage point to (30,1%) compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
A net decline in total employment in the first quarter of 2020 was mainly driven by decreases in the number of people employed in the formal sector (50,000) and agriculture (21,000). Increases in employment were observed in the informal sector (3,000) and private households (30,000) during this period.
Most industries experienced job losses in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Finance shed most jobs (50,000), followed by the community and social services (33,000), agriculture (21,000), transport (17,000), manufacturing (15,000), construction (7,000) and utilities (4,000) industries. Year-on year there was a net increase of 91,000 in total employment with community and social services (185,000), agriculture (27,000), and mining (18,000), being the largest contributors to the observed increase.
Statistics South Africa press release extracts, 23 June 2020