The average monthly salary earned in South Africa was R23,133 by November last year, Statistics SA’s latest quarterly employment statistics show. Business Insider reports that this was 3.1% more than in the same month in 2019, which means that salaries did not keep up with the cost of living. But many fewer people were lucky enough to earn a salary at all last year, as companies retrenched hundreds of thousands of workers during the pandemic. The data shows that total employment, outside of agriculture, fell by almost 600,000 jobs between December 2019 and 2020.