South Africa: SA Unemployment Rate Hits the Highest Level Since the Global Financial Crisis

Nearly four in every ten South Africans are unemployed, entrenching poverty and invariably worsening inequality and instability.
analysis

In the second quarter of this year, South Africa's unemployment rate spiked to 29% from 27.6% in the first quarter, according to data released on Tuesday 30 July by Statistics South Africa. This was the highest level since 2008, when the economy was being battered by the global financial crisis. You know your economy is screwed when ...

South Africans could be forgiven for thinking that the global financial crisis of a decade ago was back. In the first quarter, the economy shrank 3.2%, its biggest contraction since the days when subprime home loans in the United States pulled the rest of the world down with them. Then in the second quarter, the unemployment rate rose to 29%, its highest level since "The Great Recession". And business confidence levels are also close to where they were a decade ago.

At least 10 years ago, South African policymakers could take some solace in the fact that the domestic economy was far from alone. Everyone was screwed, and at least some of the blame could be placed on Wall Street bankers and the predatory loan/ponzi schemes they dangled in front of working-class Americans whose wages had been stagnating for decades.

But in...

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