In South Africa, even skilled workers seek jobs on the street

www.moneyweb.co.za
4 min read
standard
The country's unemployment crisis is out of control.
South Africa is forecast to set an unwelcome world record this week when its statistics agency is predicted to report unemployment rose to a record 34.8% in the second quarter, which would be the highest of 83 countries tracked by Bloomberg.

Ayanda Mbatha was among the unlucky ones who joined the ranks of the unemployed in the period. Dressed in a shirt and tie, the 26-year old mechanical-engineering graduate spent four weeks at intersections in the affluent Johannesburg suburbs of Hyde Park and Sandton advertising his skills on a placard around his neck and with copies of his CV in his hand, in the hope a passing motorist could help with a job offer.

"Sometimes I'd think 'I don't have a job, I was retrenched, what am I going to do? There's no salary coming in anymore'," he said in an interview.

Mbatha is one of an estimated 3 million people who lost their jobs as restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic shuttered all but essential services in Africa's most industrialised economy. Most business were shut for five weeks from March 27 and some reduced staff or closed down permanently because of the lockdown. A study by a group of 30 academics and researchers shows 1.5 million more people were furloughed.

What Bloomberg's economist says

A lot of the second-quarter job losses…
Read full article