S.Africa jobless rate edges down again despite power cuts

Commuters look on as members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) dance and sing slogans during a march in eMalahleni, on October 7, 2021. – COSATU issued a call to all workers and South Africans to join a national strike to urge authorities to “fix the economic mess” in the country. (Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP)

Staff Writer, Agence France-Presse (AFP)

South Africa’s unemployment rate fell slightly for a third consecutive quarter despite power cuts that hampered economic activity across the country, official data showed on Tuesday.

Between July and September, the jobless rate declined by one percentage point over the second quarter to 32.9 percent of the workforce, StatsSA said.

The drop follows falls of 0.6 and 0.8 percentage points in the second and first quarters of the year respectively, the official statistics agency said.

Unemployment stood at 35.3 percent at the end of 2021.

StatsSA said 204,000 jobs were added in the third quarter, especially in manufacturing, trade, construction and transport.

Poverty, inequality and joblessness run high in South Africa, nearly three decades after the end of apartheid.

The country’s high unemployment rate has fuelled protests and anti-foreigner sentiment.

Youth unemployment — among jobseekers aged 15-34 — remains particularly high at 45.5 percent.

South Africa’s chronic problem of energy shortages has worsened this year, with the state-owned monopoly Eskom failing to keep pace with demand and maintain its ageing coal-powered infrastructure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *