South Africa's unemployment rate hit a new record high of 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021 from 34.4% in the second quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.
Statistics South Africa said the number of unemployed totalled 7.643 million people in the three months to the end of September, compared with 7.826 million people, in the previous three months.
According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 46.6% of the labour force was without work in the third quarter, from 44.4% in the second quarter.
The South African economy has long suffered from high levels of joblessness, contributing to poverty and inequality that persist nearly three decades after the end of white minority rule.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated South Africa's labour market woes.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Nqobile Dludla)