Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Jul 2009

Business: Unemployment Up 2,3% in One Year


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According to the survey, unemployment, in the narrow sense of the word, went up from 23,1% in the second quarter of 2008 to 23,6% in the second quarter of 2009 – a mere increase of 0,5 percentage points.

Unemployment, in the broad sense of the word, was estimated at 28,4% in the first quarter of 2009 while the latest figures show that it is estimated at 29,7%, amounting to an increase of 1,3 percentage points in only one quarter.

Solidarity maintains that the broad definition of unemployment gives a more reliable account of actual unemployment in South Africa than the narrow definition. According to the narrow definition, people who have given up looking for work after a certain period are excluded from the so-called official unemployment figure.

“The rate of unemployment in the broad sense bodes ill for South Africa’s efforts to counteract unemployment,” explains Solidarity spokesperson, Jaco Kleynhans. “The number of discouraged employees has gone up 40,6% over the past year. Leaving this large number of people out of the equation to make the official unemployment figure appear rosier will not help to solve the staggering unemployment problem. Unemployment in South Africa is not stagnating as the official figure would suggest on the face of it. On the contrary, unemployment figures are still rising without exception, especially if the unemployment figures of 26,7%, 28,4% and 29,7% for the last quarter of 2008 and the first and second quarters of 2009, respectively, are taken into account.”

Solidarity has also called on employers to embrace the positive outlook of the economy and to hold back on further job cuts. “There are various signs of an upturn. At this juncture, all efforts should be directed at retaining skills, which will be vital at the onset of the economic upturn,” says Kleynhans. “To give an example: Business prospects in the Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index were already looking up in June for the second month in a row and show that more than half of manufacturing companies in South Africa expect business conditions to improve within the next six months.”


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