JOHANNESBURG: South African unemployment reached 32.5 percent of the workforce between October and December 2020, the national statistics agency said Tuesday, the highest level since record keeping began in 2008.
The number of unemployed people increased "by 701,000 to 7.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2020," a Stats SA statement said."The movement... resulted in a significant increase of 1.7 percentage points in the official unemployment rate to 32.5 percent," it added.
South Africa, the continent's most industrialised economy, was already in recession when coronavirus pandemic hit last March, reports AFP.
Months of rolling restrictions to stem the virus have stifled economic activity and bled tens of thousands of jobs.
Most of the latest unemployment increase was seen among workers aged between 25 and 34, followed by the 15-24 group.