Blame bad education for joblessness – Stats SA boss

2014-04-09 13:58

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Unless South Africa deals with poor education, reducing unemployment will remain a pipe dream, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said today.

Speaking to the media during the release of the Labour Market Dynamics report in Hatfield, Pretoria, this morning, Lehohla said the inability to create jobs was a direct consequence of a poor education system.

The report paints a bleak picture of employment in the country, showing that a smaller proportion of South Africans had jobs in 2013 compared with 1996.

While the number of employed people increased from 14.6 million to 14.9 million for the period 2008 to 2013, the report shows that during the same period, the number of unemployed increased from 4.2 million to 4.9 million.

According to the report, “this resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate from 22.5% in 2008 to 24.7% in 2013. The rate rose to 24.9% in 2010, declined to 24.8% the following year and rose again in 2012 to 24.9%. In 2013, there was a modest decline to 24.7%.”

Also, the report reveals that the youth are the worst affected by unemployment. “The unemployment rate among the youth rose 32% in 2008 to a high of 35.8% in 2012 before declining slightly to 35.4% in 2014.”

On a positive note, the report shows that during the third and fourth quarters of last year, about 92.9% of all people remained employed.

White people, said the report, still earned far more than their black counterparts.

“Median monthly earnings of employees declined from R3 115 in 2012 to R3 033 in 2013. And large disparities by population group are still evident. In 2013, the earnings of the white population group increased to R10 500, while among coloured workers there was a decline. The earnings of the black and Indian/Asian groups remained unchanged. At R2 600 in 2013, the earnings of black Africans amounted to barely 25% of white earnings.”

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