The number of people with jobs in South Africa dropped to the lowest in nine years in the second quarter of 2020, even as the official unemployment rate dipped.
The number of people who are employed fell by 2.2 million to 14.1 million according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in a report released Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. This is the lowest since the third quarter of 2011.
The official unemployment rate decreased from 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020 to a record low of 23.3% in the data from April to June this year.
The country has been under a lockdown in the second quarter of the year, with prospective job seekers unable to look for work.
Yet, the data released by Stats SA points to a 4.3 million decline in the number of unemployed people as compared to the first quarter, when the decline in the number of unemployed people stood at 2.8 million people.
Experts cautioned that it may be difficult for Stats SA to collate the data from the period under review due to the lockdown and job seekers’ fears of contracting COVID-19.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey relies on a household-based sample survey and collects data on labour market activities of people aged 15 years to 64 years in the country.