Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Nigeria has the third highest unemployment rate at 33.3 per cent, while South Africa has the highest rate among a list of 82 countries.

The report stated that South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 34.4 per cent in the second quarter from 32.6 per cent, while Namibia has the second highest unemployment rate rises at 33.4 per cent.

According to the Bloomberg report, the median of three economists’ estimates in a survey was 33.2 per cent.

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According to the expanded definition, unemployment includes people who were available for work but not looking for a job, rose to 44.4 per cent from 43.2 per cent in the first quarter.

Among the countries tracked by Bloomberg, the unemployment rate in South Africa is now the highest. However, the data from some of the nations could be outdated.

Unemployment data in South Africa is likely to deteriorate in the third quarter because of the government’s decision to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 infections, which is also hindering efforts to revive an economy that shrank 7 per cent last year.

The report added that rising joblessness rate could heap pressure on authorities to extend relief measures that would complicate efforts to stabilise public finances.

The report by Bloomberg also noted that there was an eruption of deadly riots in July in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, two key economic hubs, which claimed 354 lives and saw thousands of businesses looted and shuttered. The unrest cost the country about $3.3bn in lost output and placed at least 150,000 jobs at risk, according to the South African Property Owners Association.

It is worthy of note that the unemployment rate in Africa’s most-industrialised economy has been above 20 per cent for at least two decades, even though output expanded by five per cent or more a year in the early 2000s.