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In this background research note for the Covid-Generation project, Tim Köhler provides an overview of the South African labour market during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making use of a sample of over 600 000 observations of working-aged individuals from the nationally representative Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), this note examines trends from 2019 to 2023 in employment, unemployment and labour force participation as well as working hours among the employed. In the analysis of the labour force survey data, a focus is also placed on the youth who face particularly high rates of unemployment and volatile employment. A literature review also sheds light on the varied effects of the pandemic across groups of individuals, as well as the effects of two key labour market-related policies introduced in response to the pandemic.