Analysts : Fast growth needed

2016-11-24 06:02

An analyst has warned that South Africa needs faster economic growth after the country’s jobless rate surged to the highest in over a decade.

The jobless rate rose to 27.1% in the quarter through September, from 26.6% in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday.

This is the highest unemployment rate since 2003, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. The median of six economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for unemployment to stay unchanged from the second quarter. The number of people without jobs rose by 239 000 to 5.9 million while those employed increased by 288 000 to 15.8 million.

South Africa has struggled to rein in unemployment after the 2009 recession as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth stayed below 3.5% annually and is projected by the government to slow to 0.5% this year. The sluggish economy, policy uncertainty and rigidities and instability in the labour market are some of the factors that rating companies like Moody’s Investors Services and S&P Global Ratings, which will publish their assessment of the nation’s creditworthiness in the next two weeks, have highlighted as risks.

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