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» 07.12.2010 - South African inflation expectations ease
» 13.05.2010 - Mining sector boost spells SA recovery
» 25.03.2010 - Banks cut prime rates
» 23.03.2010 - SA's current account deficit narrows
» 11.03.2010 - SA World Cup mainly to give non-material benefits
» 25.02.2010 - SA’s consumer price increased for January
» 23.02.2010 - SA’s GDP increases
» 27.01.2010 - SA inflation exceeds target

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South Africa
Economy - Development | Labour

Unemployment dropping in South Africa

afrol News, 29 March - Finally, unemployment statistics are showing a healthy development in South Africa, where the black majority still is waiting to see social justice after more than a decade of majority rule. Between September 2005 and 2006, the number of unemployed persons dropped from 4.4 million to 4.3 million.

According to the findings of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) released today, the high unemployment rate plaguing South Africans is increasingly dropping. Kefiloe Masiteng, Deputy Director-General for Population and Social Statistics at Statistics South Africa, said that the employment queue had dropped by more than 100,000 persons last year, despite a steady growth of the working force.

Ms Masiteng said, that this put the unemployment rate in September 2006 at 25.5 percent from 26.7 percent in the corresponding month the year before. The state agency's statistics also showed that the number of employed people increased from 12.3 million in September 2005 to 12.8 million in September 2006.

The decreases in the unemployment rate had taken place despite the increase in the number of potential workers. The labour force increased from 16.7 million to 17.1 million and the working age population – the 15 to 65-year-olds - rose from 29.6 million to 30 million, according to the Pretoria government.

There was also an expansion in employment by half a million jobs in the year leading up to September 2006, Ms Masiteng said. "The rise in employment together with the decline in both unemployed persons and the number of discouraged work-seekers suggests that persons that were previously discouraged were able to find employment," she said.

Ms Masiteng further said that there had been registered "a continuous rise" in employment in the five years prior to September 2006, indicating that this had "added about 1.6 million jobs to the South African labour market." Unemployment rates had however dropped much more slowly because of population growth.

She noted that the decline of unemployment affected all racial groups although there was still a "high number" of Africans unemployed. "The levels of unemployment for all racial groups declined however they remain high for Africans," she said.

The persisting high level of unemployment is seen as South Africa's gravest problem, causing continued racial inequality, social problems and high crime rates. For South Africa to overcome the low level of employment quickly, the country however need economic growth rates equalling a strong boom.

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