man holding a cardboard sign sitting on a floor
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Stats SA has published its Q2 2020 Quarterly Labour Force Survey, disclosing that in excess of 2 million South Africans have lost their jobs during this difficult period. The total unemployed persons in SA now stands at a staggering 4.3 million, Stats SA revealed.

It would be easy to overlook the fact that Stats SA does not label those who are unemployed and are not actively seeking jobs as unemployed. Instead, these people are categorised as “Discouraged work seekers” which classifies them in the “Not Economically Active (NEA)” category. This category increased by a whopping 5.6 million.

When asked why they did not look for work, most people cited the national lockdown / COVID-19 / coronavirus as the main reason for not actively looking for work, Stats SA said.

Of the 14.2 million people who were employed during the second quarter of 2020, more than 50% were expected to continue working during the national lockdown by the companies they employed by.

“About 76.3% cited the national lockdown as the main reason for not actually working while the rest indicated that they did not work due to health reasons (10.2%); family responsibility (3.5%); or shift work arrangements (10.0%),” Stats SA said.

11.5 million employed people continued to receive full pay during the lockdown, and around one in five had a reduction of some sort in their salary during the unprecedented period.

“Almost 9 in every 10 employed graduates (89.7%) continued to receive a full salary, compared to 75.2% of those with less than matric as their highest level of education,” Stats SA said.

Important to note would be that 94.5% of those who were employed during lockdown stated that they will be returning to the same job once lockdown is lifted.

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