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South Africa’s Jobless Rate Hit 17-Year High Before Lockdown

  • Jobs losses expected to increase due to virus and restrictions
  • Unemployment rate increased to 30.1% in the first quarter
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks by a restaurant unit standing empty and available to let in Johannesburg.

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks by a restaurant unit standing empty and available to let in Johannesburg.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

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South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to a 17-year high in the first quarter, even before the full impact was felt of a nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic that brought the economy to a near standstill.