Statistics SA StatsSA announced that 660 000 people lost their jobs in the third quarter of 2021, bringing South Africa’s unemployment rate to a staggering 34,9%. This is the highest official unemployment rate recorded since the start of the QLFS in 2008; StatsSA noted.
To make things worse, the number of discouraged work-seekers went up by a staggering 545 000. “These results are reflective of a struggling economy suffering high job losses and high levels of economic inactivity, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions and, more recently, the July 2021 social unrest that some parts of the country experienced, which led to some businesses being permanently closed,” StatsSA said.
Many countries have been affected by job losses due to the pandemic, however; South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
Loss of income during the pandemic has led to devastating consequences. It’s been reported that Gauteng saw a 90 percent increase in the number of suicide cases. The numbers went up from 695 cases to 1 325 cases during the 2019/2020 financial year.
IOL reports that Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko, “revealed that the loss of income during the Covid-19 pandemic was among the contributing factors that led to people ending their lives.
Unemployment is highest among Black women. According to Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke: “The official unemployment rate among black African women was 41.5% during this period compared to 9.9% among white women, 25.2% among Indian/Asian women, and 29.1% among coloured women.”
As of September this year, the number of people relying on some form of a social grant to survive was higher than the number of people earning a salary.