Students with big aspirations stand on the steps of the Wits University Great Hall.
Cape Town - Employment in South Africa is still 450 000 below what
it was in 2008 before the international financial crisis started taking its
This was revealed in the National Budget tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.
It means high unemployment remains the most pressing challenge facing the
The Budget Review says there are 4.5 million jobless South
Africans and another 2.3 million people categorised as “discouraged” who are no
longer actively seeking work, raising the broad unemployment rate to 33.2%.
Slow economic growth
in 2012 hindered formal non-agricultural employment growth. Between September
2011 and September 2012, about 82 000 jobs were created, bolstered by
rapid growth in national and provincial government payrolls in the middle of
the year. Moderate employment growth is expected over the next three years.
With fiscal pressures providing little room for an expansion
of public sector employment, job creation prospects will largely depend on
private sector hiring.
Youth joblessness remains exceptionally high, with more than
40% of those who are economically active and under the age of 30 unemployed. To
date, interventions to encourage the private sector to hire younger workers
have proven inadequate, the Budget Review says.
Nominal wage settlements averaged 7.6% in 2012 compared with
7.7% in 2011. After moderating to 5.9% in 2011, growth in nominal unit labour
costs has started to rise. Productivity growth averaged just 1.2% over the last
two years, according to the Budget Review.
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