South Africa has lost 2.2 million jobs during the second quarter according to Stats SA.
Employment figures show a large decline in employment between the first and second quarter. But unemployment also saw a large decline. According to Stats SA unemployment figures dropped by 2.8 million to 4.3 million. So the official unemployment rate now stands at 23.3%.
However, Peter Attard Montalto, economist at Intellidex says that it is best to look at the expanded definition of unemployment, which sees the current rate between 42.6% and 52.7%.
The expanded definition includes people who were not employed during the survey and were available to work but did not look for work for certain reasons (for example the national lockdown and fears of contracting the coronavirus).
Stats SA had to change the way of collecting data to adapt to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
“Given the change in the survey mode of collection and the fact that Q2 2020 estimates are not based on a full sample, comparisons with previous quarters should be made with caution,” says Stats SA.