South Africa’s unemployment rate rises to 29% in Q2

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PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa’s second quarter unemployment rate rose to 29.0%, its highest level in more than a decade, from 27.6% in the first quarter, official data showed on Tuesday.

There were 6.7 million people without jobs in the three months to the end of June, compared with 6.2 million people in the prior quarter, Statistics South Africa said its quarterly labour force survey.

“This is highest it has gone since the first quarter of 2008 since we began the quarterly labour force survey,” said Statistician General Risenga Maluleke.

Employment losses were mainly driven by private households, transport, mining and finance, Stats SA said.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, rose to 38.5% in the second quarter from 38.0% in the previous quarter.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Writing by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Andrew Heavens