employment thumb100 BusinessLive reports that SA’s unemployment rate climbed to its highest level since the global financial crisis, data from Statistics SA showed on Tuesday.  

The rate increased to 29.1% during the third quarter of 2019, which was the highest since the first quarter of 2008.  The expanded unemployment rate, which includes discouraged job seekers, remained at 38.5%.   Wits School of Economics’ Lumkile Mondi said the government needed to implement sweeping reforms to reignite the economy, which was projected to grow 0.6% in 2019.  He went on to say:  “Reforms, reforms and more reforms.  We have a crisis of confidence in the SA economy.  We don’t think the state is taking the crisis very seriously.”  In September, the Bureau for Economic Research’s business confidence index (BCI) dropped to 21 index points in the third quarter from 28 in the previous quarter.  This was the lowest level since the 1998-1999 emerging-market debt crisis.  The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry BCI fell to 89.1 index points in August, its lowest level since April 1985.  Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine described the 29.1% unemployment rate as a crisis, noting that the economy was growing faster than the rate at which formal sector jobs were being created.  Ian Cruickshanks of the Institute of Race Relations said business confidence was needed to address the unemployment crisis.  “We’ve got to do something to reinvent confidence and the private sector’s willingness to deploy capital in new endeavours to grow the economy,” he warned.

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