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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading quarterly print and digital trade magazine for the past 15 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances and much more.

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StatsSA’s employment statistics dire for the 70% of working-age South Africans who crave jobs

With only 30% of working-age South Africans formally employed, the employment rate for the third quarter of 2018, as announced this morning (30 October) by StatsSA, the prospect of employment for the remaining 70% is dire.

The numbers suggest that economic growth was poor in the third quarter.

The official unemployment rate increased from 27.2% in the second quarter to 27.5% in the third quarter, representing an increase of 127 000 people to 6,209 million, while the expanded unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, increased from 37.2% to 37.3%, representing an increase of 125 000 people to 9,759 million people.

Although only the Free State and Eastern Cape recorded employment losses, the minute gains in the other 7 provinces mean little to the millions of unemployed workers, especially as the gains mostly seem to be the result of people deciding to work for themselves – possibly due to losing their jobs earlier.

We can only hope that the recent Jobs and Investment Summits will soon bear fruit for the country’s discouraged workers.

For this, organised labour, business and government will have to provide blue-blood leadership of the type that has a new paradigm, is innovative, constructive and developmental. This leadership must ensure that the New Dawn train stays on track and in motion, even if it means that many will initially have to wait on the platform.

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