Sunday World

20 000 new jobs needed each day

The situation makes it ripe for the country to plunge into social unrest

- By Kabelo Khumalo kabelo@sundayworl­d.co.za

South Africa faces a tall order to absorb millions of unemployed people, with experts saying the economy needs to create over 20 000 jobs a day for a year to eradicate jobless, which has hit crisis point.

South Africa’s youth is burdened by high unemployme­nt levels, with those aged 15 to 34 years making up 66.5% in the third quarter of 2021.

At 34.9%, South Africa has the highest official unemployme­nt rate in the world.

The expanded definition of unemployme­nt that includes discourage­d job seekers and others who are not economical­ly active sits at a record-breaking staggering 46.6%, or 11-million people.

Catherine Wijnberg and Anton Ressel, from small businesses consultanc­y firm Fetola, said the country needed a radically different strategy, a new level of bravery and a nation-first mindset to curb surging unemployme­nt rates.

“The truth is, to absorb the almost 8-million unemployed job seekers who make up the 34.9%, we would need to create 22 000 jobs per day for a year. That is the equivalent of starting and launching four businesses the size of Vodacom, every day. For a whole year. Clearly, we are not even scratching the surface by doing what we have been doing for the last 25 years,” they said.

The staggering youth unemployme­nt has sent shivers in the investment community, with analysts warning that the situation makes it ripe for social unrest.

Expanded unemployme­nt sits at 46.6%, which represents 11-million people

Casey Delport, on investment analyst at Anchor Capital, said of most concern was that youth unemployme­nt now sat at nearly 70%, which was indicative of the social unrest the country experience­d in July and pointed to longer-term structural issues in the local economy.

“Overall, we expect rising joblessnes­s to increase pressure on the government to extend current relief measures that will further complicate efforts to stabilise public finances,” she said.

The Statssa jobless rate data show that a combined 50% of the 660 000 job losses were from Kwazulu-natal and Gauteng, the two provinces that were primarily affected by the social unrest.

 ?? ?? / Gallo Images
Unemployme­nt among those aged between 15 and 34 years represents 66.5% of joblessnes­s in the third quarter of 2021.
/ Gallo Images Unemployme­nt among those aged between 15 and 34 years represents 66.5% of joblessnes­s in the third quarter of 2021.

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