By Nthabiseng Moleko
If you are young, dynamic and have your whole life ahead of you, sorry you burst your bell, but in South Africa you are probably unemployed.
In fact, if you are young and a black woman, that chance increases, it is reported that black African women have an unemployment rate that is 4.2% higher than the national average at 42.4%.
The national average sits globally as the worst, underutilization of labor at its worst.
The statistics tell us that women as domestic workers are included in their dreams in employment.
The recently published quarterly labor force survey again shows an economy that cannot create jobs.
One of the most striking results is the increase in employment attributed to private households.
Households are reported as the largest contributor to an increase in employment at 129,000. Not construction, manufacturing, or transportation, which contracted by a maximum of 14.7% compared to last quarter.
The increase attributed to trade, community and social services is lower than household contribution at 118,000 and 73,000. Concernedly, these are not sectors that contribute to our production value addition, nor our real productive potential.
The industrialization capacity in South Africa needs to be urgently strengthened to drive the expansion of labor-absorbing sectors that have high potential to create jobs.
Technical and professional skills need to be improved by returning to the basics of directing mathematical and scientific outcomes.
This will enable South Africa to create a skilled and skilled workforce. There should be unforgivable drives, incentives and goals that drive more women to STEM sectors.
Despite the need for urgent industrialization, as it now stands, South Africa’s economic structure has remained firmly driven by services, backed by debt pumped into consumption.
Labor-intensive sectors of agriculture and mining, combined with finances combined in the last four years created less employment than private households.
This is absurd! With just under 81,000 workers in the sectors combined, it is still barely two-thirds of the private household contribution.
It is surprising that individuals who hire domestic workers and gardeners make the highest contribution to employment as a sector.
The dire situation shows that we are now at 46.2% unemployment, with 7.9 million South Africans actively looking for work but unemployed.
There are 3.8 million who have simply given up all prospects for employment.
As a result, the real unemployment rate is 12.5 million South Africans.
The nationwide response to COVID-19 pandemic should be applied to unemployment levels by both the government and the private sector.
We are in an unemployment pandemic. More appropriately, we have been in an unemployment pandemic (crisis) for COVID-19. However, for COVID-19 and up to this point, our macroeconomic framework remains unchanged.
Without a coordinated response strategy, widespread chronic unemployment, where many have never worked or have not worked for long periods, will continue unabated.
This actively hinders their entry into becoming economically active participants in the South African economy.
Although the unemployment rate is lower for graduates at 11.8%, this unemployment rate for our graduates is higher than that of global unemployment levels of 6.5%. This is nothing to be proud of!
Our graduates are doing pretty poorly, compared to global levels of unemployment.
According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate for OECD economies is 7.1%, Uruguay 10.4%, Switzerland 4.8%, India 8%, Egypt 9.2%, Nigeria 9.7% and Chile 11.2%. It is alarming that our rising youth unemployment levels are still higher than those of most national economies’ unemployment levels.
Our youth unemployment rate of 66.5% means that for every one young person who works, there are two who are not. Of these, 3.4 million are not in education or training, the proportion of women to men is greater by 7% for young people under 34 to 48%.
One of the driving forces behind unemployment is our declining absorption of labor, which shows that the share of the unemployed population is from 42.4% in 2011, to the current 36.5%, reduced.
The low employment intensity in this nation is the primary reason for the dire situation we find ourselves in; a state of affairs that has prevailed for more than two decades.
We have created employment at an inadequate and declining rate, unemployment has remained firmly above 21% since 1994. If we continue as it is, it is likely that our unemployment rate will fall in the coming years. Yet our actions as a country indicate that we are undisturbed.
The services-led economic growth path that has resulted in de-industrialization, an economy unable to accommodate non- and semi-skilled entrants, sectors with a high concentration index – where fewer than 3 companies controlling more than 70% of the market share requires an urgent reconsideration. It does not work.
New incomes in the economy need targeted support. These local businesses have a greater chance of improving local economic activity. They can broaden the economically active part of the population by increasing access to employment. As owners, new businesses in Africa, women and youth increased production and profits will be shared with locally owned businesses.
Targeting access to finance, along with expanding market access, is critical to ensuring increased economic participation of women, youth and Africans. Without direct interventions, we will not see inclusivity of African women and the excluded youth.
It is important to reaffirm that the Commission has taken note of the Government’s industrialization plans and the economic reconstruction plan, these promises should lead to increased industrialization capacity in the economy to drive expansion of labor-absorbing sectors that have a high potential for jobs to make.
Furthermore, the Commission must ensure that the localization and tendering targets of 40% of targeted purchases allocated to women-owned enterprises are controlled by all in the state value chain, with the private sector also seeing equality and redistribution as a necessity.
Without change, these figures are likely to be repeated or increase next quarter, followed by another cycle of lamentation. What we need is a National Command Council for Unemployment.
Nthabiseng Moleko is the Vice President of the Gender Equality Commission who is a Development Economist.
Black women: The face of unemployment – SABC News
Source link Black women: The face of unemployment – SABC News