Millions of South Africans remain unemployed amid Workers’ Day celebrations

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Analysts say rapid economic growth is needed to address the country’s unemployment crisis. As workers around the world celebrate International Worker’s Day, millions of South Africans still remain out of work.

The latest data by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) indicates that unemployment currently stands at 27.1%, however this number goes up to nearly 40% when considering the expanded definition of unemployment which includes discouraged job seekers.

Analysts say for as long as the country’s population growth rate continues to surpass the economic growth rate, unemployment will remain high.

“Yes the discouraged work seeker included in the unemployment rate is pushing 40%, as I’ve said, a serious crisis and the only way to address this crisis is through more rapid economic growth. Our population growth rate is about one point six percent per annum, which means our economy must grow at one point six per annum just to keep unemployment stable. If we can manage to keep our economy growing at four percent we can make in-roads into unemployment,” says Prof Jannie Rossouw, Wits University Lecturer.

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