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S African unemployment hits record 29pc

July 31, 2019 00:00:00

PRETORIA, July 30 (AFP): Joblessness in South Africa has reached a record 29 per cent, the statistics office said Tuesday, piling pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa's administration after it won May elections vowing to halve unemployment.

It marks the lowest level since the country's quarterly labour force survey was introduced 11 years ago and is just the latest blow to Africa's most developed economy, which has suffered through mass layoffs, rolling blackouts and contracting gross domestic product (GDP).

The country's opposition parties quickly lashed out at Ramaphosa and the ANC, saying the country had an "unemployment catastrophe" and warning that the situation was getting worse.

The country's statistics agency StatsSA said in its quarterly report that "the unemployment rate increased by 1.4 per centage points from 27.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 to 29 per cent in the second quarter".

"This is the highest level recorded since ...2008," StatsSA added. The figure rises to 38.5 per cent under the expanded definition of unemployment which includes those who have given up looking for work.

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