South Africa's unemployment rate hits new record high in second quarter

PRETORIA, Aug 24 (Reuters) - South Africa’s unemployment rate hit a new record high of 34.4% in the second quarter of 2021 from 32.6% in the first quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Statistics South Africa said the number of unemployed totalled 7.826 million people in the three months to the end of June, compared with 7.242 million people in the previous three months.

The rate was the highest since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 44.4% of the labour force was without work in the second quarter, from 43.2% in the first quarter.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo Editing by Alexander Winning