Cosatu punts short-term jobs

2011-05-04 16:39

Johannesburg - It is essential to employ workers in the short term while proceeding with the government's new growth path to restructure the economy, Cosatu said on Wednesday.

"It is essential to start employing workers in the short term, especially on projects to improve service delivery and the quality of life in poor communities," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said.

He was reacting to the Statistics South Africa Labour Force Survey released on Tuesday.

Craven said Cosatu was shocked that the unemployment rate increased to 25% between the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter in 2011.

Stats SA said traditionally there was a decline in employment in the first quarter, but this year the decline was much lower than the previous two years.

"However, the decline of 14 000 in this quarter is substantially very low compared to the decline observed in quarter 1 of 2009 and 2010, which was 208 000 and 174 000 respectively."

The formal sector gained 56 000 jobs and the informal sector lost 46 000 jobs in this quarter.

There was an increase of 3.4% (or 486 000) in the number of persons not economically active. Of these, 353 000 were discouraged work-seekers.

The agency said the number of unemployed people increased by 227 000 between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

During this period, the number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 73 000.

Most of the jobs lost during the quarter were in the transport industry, which accounted for 34 000 job losses.

Some 25 000 jobs were lost in construction and 24 000 in agriculture.

"The job-loss bloodbath continues, bringing misery to thousands more families, and represents a huge waste of human resources, of workers who could be building new homes or improving our services, but who are left idle and demoralised," said Craven.

"It is noteworthy however that in the same quarter, jobs in the formal sector increased by 56 000, but this was more than cancelled out by the loss of 46 000 jobs in the informal (sector)."

"This proves Cosatu's point that casualisation of labour and the expansion of informal and atypical forms of employment has made thousands of workers more insecure and vulnerable to being summarily retrenched. It will strengthen our determination to end casualisation and labour broking."

He said the figures showed that the government's decision to make job creation its top priority was a correct one.

It also made its plans contained in the industrial policy action plan and the new growth path "even more relevant".

"Cosatu will also use these statistics to support its call for a substantial cut in interest rates to encourage new investment in job-creating industries and services."

Cosatu criticised the new growth path plan earlier this year, saying it was not enough to fundamentally transform South Africa's economy. The plan was unveiled by Economic Develop Minister Ebrahim Patel in October last year.

It aims to create 5 million jobs over the next decade.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-05-04 17:33

    Is that the opinion of the educated COSATU? Duh?

  • antonbar - 2011-05-04 17:59

    Why doesn't Cosatu do something worthwhile which will contribute immensely to rapid job creation? That is to disband itself and voluntary exile for its retard leaders to Outer Mongolia.

  • Appietrader - 2011-05-04 18:07

    Would someone please drag Mr. Craven into the 21st century. All over the world it is normal to use casual workers and labor consultants. SA with only permanent workers, cannot be done!

  • Micsin - 2011-05-04 18:26

    I fully agree with Cosatu, with unemployment ouit of control more has to be done now!The Union said we need interest rates slashed and they were correct.Unemployed impoverished people do not care about inflation because they have zero buying power anyway. Help the poor and boost economy slash rates, lower tax rates and reduce red tape on small businesses.Government must pour money into infrastructure and boost exports. Come on guys we are in a crtical sick situation, drastic measures need to be taken, certainly no tightening of monetary policy needs to be applied!

      Blougroen - 2011-05-04 23:37

      Yea - our money already very cheap - how critical must it become before we start scrapping labour laws that punish those that employ ??????

  • Bob65 - 2011-05-04 18:36

    Cosatu should get away from their entrenched idea of white bosses being the blood sucking enemy. Most white people are trying hard to scrape by with their own little business, employing a couple of people in the process. Getting milked for the last penny with ever escalating municipal bills, taxes, etc. AND being constantly demonized by the governing alliance is just demoralizing. When companies get taxed to death and close employees loose their jobs. Cosatu wants to fight higher unemployment with more unfavourable labour laws. That is just stupid reactive thinking. Being a successful employer takes grit, determination, intelligence and perseverance. If you are lacking some of that you are an employee. If you lack all of that you are unemployed - or a union official.

  • Rustique - 2011-05-04 18:49

    Crazy wage demands are the largest job destroyer Comrades. Add to this the idiotic calls for Nationalisation by the ANCYL and investment needed to create jobs goes the the SERIOUS BRIC countries rather than where there is a risk of Nationalisation. Thank you COSATU, Thank you ANCYL.. We enjoy being unemployed.

  • SilverSurfer - 2011-05-04 20:22

    Can they not see that all their strict labour legislation is coming home to roost. It is exactly because of them that there are job losses, they are squarely to blame. I would not employ anybody if could help it (too much PT) thanks to this bunch of imbeciles.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-05-04 23:21

    They are cutting their own throats. Instead of 1,2,3 maybe 5 or 10 losing their jobs - the entire business will close down. All the permanently employed staff will lose their jobs.

  • Alta - 2011-05-05 09:33

    Cosatu and Government is the reason for all the joblosses. SA labour productivity growth second lowest in the world (1990-2008 Source: International labour organisation) Mr. Craven you and your labour union are doing more damage than Julias M. And Patsy you suggesting we lower intrestrates and our economy will end up like the US?

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