Johannesburg - Employment and unemployment trends continue to paint a bleak picture, Cosatu said on Monday as it released a research report at its four-day central committee meeting.
"While we were able to make some employment gains during our growth period in the 2000s, our level of unemployment has shifted back to our pre-growth levels.
"It is unlikely that employment gains will be achieved in the short run, given our declining industrial base and no significant intervention to restructure our economy."
The report added that SA's response to the global crisis was swift and significant, with all social partners "clamouring" on board to ensure the country's response was effective.
"In a very short space of time, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) was able to conclude the national framework agreement in response to the global crisis.
"However, when measured against other country responses to the crisis, we fared very poorly in saving little jobs, if any."
Cosatu said that about 6 000 jobs were saved through the training layoff scheme, while the Industrial Development Corporation through its intervention saved an estimated 17 000 jobs.
"Notwithstanding these important interventions, they may have come a little too slow and too late," the report said.