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South Africa’s unemployment rate rises to 32.6% in first quarter

PUBLISHED: Tue, 01 Jun 2021 09:36:36 GMT

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PRETORIA, June 1 (Reuters) – South Africa’s unemployment rate rose slightly in the first quarter of 2021 to a new record high of 32.6%, from 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

The rate was the highest since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008.

Statistics South Africa put the number of unemployed at 7.242 million people in the three months to the end of March, up from 7.233 million people in the previous three months.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 43.2% of the labour force was without work in the January-March quarter, from 42.6% in the final quarter of 2020. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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