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Skilled Workers Seek Jobs on the Streets of South Africa

  • Unemployment rate probably rose to record in second quarter
  • Recession, weak economy dim prospects for job seekers
An empty retail unit in Cape Town on Aug. 19, 2020.
An empty retail unit in Cape Town on Aug. 19, 2020.Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg
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South Africa is forecast to set an unwelcome world record this week when its statistics agency is predicted to report unemployment rose to a record 34.9% in the second quarter, which would be the highest of 83 countries tracked by Bloomberg.

Ayanda Mbatha was among the unlucky ones who joined the ranks of the unemployed in the period. Dressed in a shirt and tie, the 26-year-old mechanical-engineering graduate spent four weeks at intersections in the affluent Johannesburg suburbs of Hyde Park and Sandton advertising his skills on a placard around his neck and with copies of his CV in his hand, in the hope a passing motorist could help with a job offer.