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South Africa Unemployment at New High as Building, Trade Cut Jobs

South Africa’s official unemployment rate rose to a new high in the first quarter as the construction and trade industries shed jobs.

The jobless rate rose to 32.6% from 32.5% in the three months through December, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in a report released in the capital, Pretoria. That’s the highest number on record.

Unemployment according to the expanded definition, which includes people who were available for work but not looking for a job, rose to 43.2% from 42.6% the previous quarter. That was as the number of discouraged work seekers surged by 201,000 people in the quarter.

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