661 000 jobs lost in Gauteng since beginning of lockdown: Makhura

The Gauteng economy has lost 661 000 jobs since the beginning of the national lockdown at the end of March. Premier David Makhura revealed this at Thursday’s weekly briefing on the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the move to alert Level 1 of the lockdown will allow the government to continue its economic development plans.

Makhura says he hopes that the easing of regulations are not reversed because that would hurt the economy. He says plans to resuscitate the economy include a fund to support small business and a renewed focus on the township economy.

“So, of the 2.2 million jobs lost in quarter two by the SA economy; 661 000 of those are coming out of the Gauteng economy. Just prior to COVID-19, at the beginning of this year, 2020, there were 5.5-million people employed in the Gauteng economy. As we speak, now there are 4.5 million people employed in the Gauteng economy. This has really been bad.”

Unemployment wake up call for government

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Wednesday said the latest unemployment numbers should be a wake-up call for government, labour, and business to work harder and more closely to find a solution to the crisis.

Reaction to decrease in SA’s unemployment rate to 23.3% with 2.2 million job losses:

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Stats SA on Tuesday reported that in terms of its expanded definition, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, unemployment increased by 2.3 percentage points to 42% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2020.

However, the official unemployment rate fell to 23.3% in the second quarter of 2020 from 30.1% in the previous period.

The decline has been attributed to the strict lockdown that distorted labour force numbers.

Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)