Today's Labour News

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employment thumb100 Business Times writes that SA’s jobs market is entering a new era in which it could absorb less labour than in the past - even if growth returns to the economy.  

A shift to a service-driven economy in line with global trends would not be a panacea for the country's unemployment challenge, according to economic experts.  Unemployment registered 27.7% in the third quarter of 2017 - a 0.6 percentage point deterioration from the same period a year ago, Statistics SA said in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released last Tuesday.  Nicholas Ngepah, professor of economics at the University of Johannesburg, commented:  "We are entering a different kind of era.  I believe that when growth takes off again it will not be as absorptive of employment as in the past because of a number of factors, key of which is mechanisation in the context of the fourth industrial revolution."  Well-known labour economist Andrew Levy said the building, automotive, retail and manufacturing sectors would be labour-absorptive in the event of an economic recovery, but "the economy is not growing fast enough, there's no prospect it's going to grow fast enough.  If it grew at 6% to 9% for a decade then it would mop up unemployment,” but there was no prospect of that under the current political circumstances and labour market policies.  “So it's a very bleak picture."

  • Read this report by Asha Speckman in full at BusinessLive (paywall access) or on page 4 of Sunday Times Business Times of 5 November 2017
  • See too, Unemployment unchanged at 27.7% in the September quarter, at BusinessLive

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