Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Unemployment rate: Which provinces have been hit hardest by lockdown?

The expanded unemployment rate has shown just how deep the economic faultlines run underneath SA, after lockdown pumelled the job market.

unemployment rate which provinces have been hit hardest by lockdown - Unemployment rate: Which provinces have been hit hardest by lockdown?

They’re calling it ‘the pandemic quarter’. Q2 of 2020 represents something of an economic bloodbath, which has been compounded by the release of Tuesday’s figures for the expanded unemployment rate. StatsSA has also shared a provincial breakdown with us, showing which regions took the biggest battering from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

How many jobs have been lost during lockdown in South Africa?

Across the whole country, 2.2 million jobs were cut between April – June 2020. There are three important data sets to consider when weighing up who has been ‘worst hit’ by the pandemic: The quarterly changes, the year-on-year-changes, and the outright expanded unemployment rate.

The Eastern Cape emerges as the most damaged local economy, topping two of these three charts. The Western Cape, on the other hand, seems to have weathered the storm relatively well in some respects – but it was far from invincible against the impact of a deadly pandemic. Here are the results for each province during Q2 of 2020.

What is the expanded unemployment rate in each province?

The Eastern Cape is the only province where more than half of its whole adult population finds itself jobless. Meanwhile, there’s a bottle neck for the rest of the top four, with Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal topping 46%. The Western Cape and Gauteng are the only provinces with an expanded unemployment rate under 40%.

  • Eastern Cape: 52.8%
  • Limpopo: 46.5%
  • North West: 46.3%
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 46.2%
  • Mpumalanga: 45.4%
  • Northern Cape: 45.1%
  • South Africa’s National Average: 42%
  • Free State: 41.2%
  • Gauteng: 38.7%
  • Western Cape: 27.3%

Who has been hit hardest by lockdown in Q2?

Despite the Eastern Cape having the largest expanded unemployment rate, it is the Northern Cape which has been lumped with the worst-performing quarter. A total of five provinces are above the national average in this respect.

The NC province saw its joblessness figures soar by more than 5% in three months, outdoing the Eastern Cape in second place. KwaZulu-Natal makes up the top three, whereas the Western Cape finds itself up the wrong end of the table:

  1. Northern Cape: Up by 5.1%
  2. Eastern Cape: Up by 3.9%
  3. KwaZulu-Natal: Up by 3.2%
  4. Western Cape: Up by 2.5%
  5. Gauteng: Up by 2.4%
  6. South Africa’s National Average: 2.3%
  7. Limpopo: Up by 2.1%
  8. Mpumalanga: Up by 1.5%
  9. North West: Up by 1.2%
  10. Free State: Down by 3.3%

Expanded unemployment rates for South Africa: Yearly comparison

The Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KZN, and Gauteng (in that order) find themselves above the national average for a year-on-year change to their expanded unemployment rates.

The Western Cape is on par, whereas Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape only saw slight changes when compared to September 2019. Free State and North West bucked the trend completely.

ec27961d provincial unemployment rate - Unemployment rate: Which provinces have been hit hardest by lockdown?
Photo: Stats SA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *