2.2 million jobs lost in the second quarter of 2020

Unemployment, according to the expanded definition, rose to 42 percent.

Following a lengthy delay due to the Covid-19 crisis, Statistics South Africa released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2020 on Tuesday morning. The report found that 2.2 million jobs were lost between April and June this year across the country.

This unprecedented change is the largest quarter one to quarter two decline since the survey began in 2008, said the report.

The unemployment rate appears to have fallen to 23.3 percent from 30.1 percent, But this is because the country was in hard lockdown in the second quarter of the year, which meant that people available for work were not actively looking. The official definition of unemployment includes both people who are looking for work and those available for work.

The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment, which drops the requirement that unemployed people must actively be seeking work, however, increased by 2.3 percentage points to 42 percent in the second quarter compared to the first.

“Almost all of the 5.2 million people who did not look for work for reasons other than discouragement indicated ‘national lockdown’ as the main reason for not looking for work,” reads the report.