More than 30% of the working population in South Africa is now unemployed, the National Statistics Agency said Thursday.

A record since 2008 and an increase largely attributed to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Unemployment increased by 7.5% between July, peak of the pandemic in the most industrialized country in Africa, and September, to reach 30.8%, the agency said.

The number of unemployed registered between July and September is 2.2 million.

This is more people compared to the period between April and June, bringing the total to 6.5 million unemployed.

Young people are particularly affected, as unemployment increased by 9 percentage points in the 15-24 age group.

South Africa imposed strict containment measures at the end of March to curb spread of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa again warned against the threat of a resurgence or second wave. He emphasized the need to respect health protocols to avoid plunging an already largely shaken economy.

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