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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

South African unemployment: Lies and statistics


It has become one of the defining truths about modern South Africa and its economic and social struggles: Soaring, endemic, potentially explosive levels of unemployment.

The official figures paint a resolutely grim picture of a country where a quarter of the workforce cannot find a job, and where almost half of young South Africans are without work.

But are the figures accurate - or to borrow from Mark Twain - "damned lies"?

According to a report by labour analysts at a prominent South African company, the true unemployment figure here is actually about 11.3%.

Adcorp reaches this remarkable, and presumably contestable conclusion by including "informal sector jobs", which it concedes are hard to measure accurately.

South Africa's ruling alliance has always placed strong emphasis on the notion of "decent work", and some of the informal jobs - those beyond the reach of the tax inspector, unions, insurance etc - included in Adcorp's calculations presumably do not fall into that category.

Read full article here

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