Covid-19 has devastated SA’s labour market. Recently released data from the National Income Dynamics Study: Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) suggests there has been a net decrease in active employment of about 40% from February to April. It seems that about half of this drop could be attributed to people who have been either temporarily laid off or put on paid leave, but the other half is the result of terminated employment relationships, threatening potentially long-lasting changes to the labour market.

With level 5 of the lockdown in effect in April, and very few of the government’s Covid relief interventions in place at that point, about 1-million of the workers who lost their jobs fell into poverty, according to new research by Ronak Jain, Joshua Budlender, Rocco Zizzamia and Ihsaan Bassier. While a recovery is expected in the labour market with the opening of the economy, the high rate of apparent job terminations means the rebound is likely to be slow...

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