Jobs not being created fast enough, says minister

2011-08-25 07:00

Jobs were not being created fast enough to absorb the rising labour force, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has said.

Taking questions in the National Assembly, he said that this was despite two consecutive quarters of creation.

According to a report in The Times, Patel said that up to 64 000 new jobs had been created in the last three months and that 150 000 jobs had been created in the nine-month period since the adoption of government’s economic policy called the New Growth Path (NGP).

However, he pointed out that in the first two quarters of the year some 200 000 new job seekers had entered the market in each quarter.

“We are not creating enough jobs to take into account the rate of growth of the labour force,” he said.

Patel pointed out that 42 000 jobs had been lost in the agricultural sector, but that the informal sector had created 41 000 jobs.

The NGP aims to create 5 million new jobs by 2020.

Patel also said that target “was always a stretch target, especially for an economy with such high levels of unemployment.”

At least 27% of South Africa’s workforce was currently unemployed and, according to some, such labour federation Cosatu, this actually could be as high as 40%.

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