I'm trying to describe unemployment in the first sentence of an economics essay about South Africa. The sentence I'm thinking of is, "Unemployment is a ... problem in South Africa,... "
I'm trying to think of a word to put in the first ellipsis, and it should have the connotation of the following words: widespread, malignant, intractable, pernicious, enduring, problematic, big, serious,... you get the idea. Can you think of the word I'm trying to find?
The sentence can be modified from the one I suggested; my aim is to have a powerful opening sentence.