Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

South African Journal of Economics


We estimate COVID-19-related employment and poverty impacts in South Africa. We observe a 40% decline in active employment between February and April 2020, half of which was composed of job terminations rather than furloughs. Initially, vulnerable groups were disproportionately affected by the labour market shock. Exploiting the dataset's panel dimension and comparing lockdown incomes of job losers to reweighted job retainers, we estimate that approximately 15%–35% of job losers fell into poverty in April. We find evidence of a limited recovery in the labour market and a decrease in poverty by June, in part attributable to expanded emergency social assistance.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License