Small rise in employment is nothing to celebrate

2 June 2022

Consensus is emerging that unemployment, inequality and poverty require all sectors of society to get stuck in to find solutions.

Stats SA reported that the unemployment rate improved marginally, from 35.3% to 34.5% at the end of the first quarter. The number of unemployed people decreased by 60,000 to 7.9-million, while the number of those with jobs rose by 370,000 to 14.9-million. Employment remains 1.5-million or nearly 10% below pre-pandemic employment levels.

If the National Development Plan’s target of 23.25-million employed people by 2030 is to be kept, which it must, employment levels imply that SA must create just under 1-million jobs (926,000) every year for the next nine years. The details of Stats SA’s report cast doubt that this level of employment creation will be achieved…

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