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PRETORIA, Sept 29 (Reuters) – South Africa’s official unemployment rate fell in the second quarter as a coronavirus lockdown saw fewer people actively looking for employment, but the expanded jobless figure which includes people who have stopped looked for work soared, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.
In its quarterly labour force survey, which was conducted by phone for the first time because of the pandemic, Statistics South Africa said the unemployment rate dropped to 23.3% in the three months to end June, from a record high of 30.1% in the first quarter.
Under the expanded definition of unemployment, the rate rose to 42% compared with 39.7% in the previous quarter.
“It is because for someone to be unemployed they have to be actively looking for employment … During ‘Stage 5’ and ‘Stage 4’ (of the lockdown) many did not continue looking for employment so