South Africa's unemployment rate rises to 32.5% in Q4 2020

Men hold placards offering temporal employment services in Glenvista, south of Johannesburg, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa’s unemployment rate jumped to a new record high of 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 30.8% in the third quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Statistics South Africa put the number of unemployed at 7.2 million people in the fourth quarter, compared to 6.5 million in the previous three months.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 42.6% of the labour force was without work in the October-December quarter, amounting to 11.1 million people, Stats SA data showed.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, Editing by Catherine Evans