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It’s hard for SA’s unemployment data to shock a country as punch drunk as SA, but Stats SA’s third-quarter labour force survey has done just that. It shows that the economy shed another 660,000 jobs in the third quarter — not even half of which can be explained by the July unrest.

The steep drop seems at odds with the fact that SA’s economic recovery has been better than expected, suggesting that economists may be underestimating how badly the pandemic, coupled with severe water-and energy-shedding, and rapidly rising input costs, are affecting business...

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