Unemployment has hit a record high of 34.4%, or 7.8 million jobless people in South Africa.
Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter on Tuesday. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since the survey started in 2008.
The unemployment rate was previously 32.6%, and the number of jobless people was 7.2 million.
The expanded definition of unemployment – which accounts for those discouraged from seeking work – has increased 1.2 percentage points to 44.4%.
Thomas and Skhumba asked Kaya 959 listeners how they are encouraging their unemployed friends and family members not lose hope as the rates skyrocket.
If you’re a friend, family member to someone who’s suddenly unemployed, it’s easy to feel concerned and unsure of what to do. What do you say to someone who’s suddenly lost their livelihood?
I’m employed but employment is also affecting me. At the beginning of lockdown my mother, uncle & two brothers lost their jobs & I now carry the responsibility of supporting 3 families & I’m struggling to keep up as I only help out with just essentials: skhaftins 4 kids & food! pic.twitter.com/MDEHs8qi4v
— Dani Ruttang ☄️ (@Dani_Baloyi) August 25, 2021
#ThomasAndSkhumba its really heartbreaking. Looki g at the impact the pandemic has done 2 us as a nation. My peers are unemployed and they have gaven up. I always tell em that guving up is not an option. It will never it like this forever.@TnS_ShowOnKaya @skhumbi @thomasmsengana
— Tshepo Papa Shady Sekgota (@tenten_024) August 25, 2021
There are a few ways to encourage you friends and family members that’s been proven to work.
Always encourage those in your life to speak about what they are going through by creating a safe space for them to air out how they feel. By asking them how they’re doing, you’re giving them an opportunity to make their own voice heard—something that’s hard to come by during retrenchments and unemployment.
Donate Your Time, Food, or Cash
One big thing most people who are unemployed need is your help when you can. If you’re fortunate enough to have food, housing, and rainy-day savings, consider helping out those who don’t.
Be the light in people’s lives
It’s important to find the light in the darkness. When friends and family members are going through a rough time, it’s really important that you help them find the positive things to focus on because it’s easy to get sucked into the negativity of a situation that you’re in.
One listener shared how difficult it has been for her sister who was retrenched and how she’s been trying her best to be the light in her life.