Macro Review

These monthly reports provide in-depth assessments of the trends shaping specific current social, economic, and political risks in South Africa. The Macro Review is supplemented by a monthly lunchtime seminar at the CRA’s headquarters in Johannesburg.
Locked Out: South Africa's Unemployment Crisis

Locked Out: South Africa's Unemployment Crisis

The latest report from the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA), entitled Locked Out: South Africa’s Unemployment Crisis, reveals that the country's structural unemployment problem is steadily worsening.
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The report shows that the number of people with a job fell from 16.3 million in the first quarter of 2020 to 14.1 million in the second quarter − a decline of 2.2 million jobs. 

What are the political risks associated with SA's high unemployment levels?

Key takeaways:

  • The official unemployment rate fell to 23.3% in Q2 from 30.1% in Q1 — the number of people officially unemployed fell to 4 295 000 in Q2 from 7 070 000 in Q1.
  • The expanded unemployment rate increased from 39.7% to 42% — the number of people unemployed under this definition stood at 10 259 000 in Q2, from 10 797 000 in Q1.
  • The labour absorption rate fell to 36.3% in Q2 from 42.1% in Q1. In other words, just over a third of working age people in South Africa have a job.
  • The proportion of the working age population classified as not economically active increased to 52.7% in Q2 from 39.7% in Q1.
  • The negative consequences of the lockdown were felt more in the private sector than in the public sector.