Fin24

Number of employed up slightly

2011-06-21 09:59

Johannesburg - The number of people employed in South Africa's non-agricultural sectors increased by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the fourth quarter of last year, data showed on Tuesday.

Statistics South Africa said the number of employed people in the formal sector rose to 8.298 million, from 8.251 million in the fourth quarter.

Compared to the first quarter of 2010, the number was up 2.6%.

South Africa has lost more than a million jobs since the beginning of 2009, the year it experienced its first recession since 1992.

The government wants to create 5 million new jobs by 2020 and has set up a R9bn jobs fund to quicken the pace of employment. However, economists say growth needs to accelerate to 7% a year to hit this target.

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has said employment growth is far too slow and poses serious political and economic challenges.

About half of the adult population in Africa's biggest economy is jobless.