The latest headline numbers on jobs are disturbing enough, with SA’s unemployment rate climbing to almost 35% in the third quarter. But the details are even more alarming, demonstrating as they do just how profound the malaise in SA’s economy and society is.

The economy may be recovering thanks to high commodity prices and relatively strong consumer spending, but it is proving to be a jobless recovery — even a job-shedding one. The economy lost 660,000 jobs in the third quarter, and the unemployment rate would have looked even worse but for an increase in the number of people who simply gave up looking for work...

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