Economic growth not enough to fix unemployment: Analyst

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Labour analyst Terry Bell says economic growth will not be enough to fix South Africa’s unemployment problem. He says the country has a long past of jobless growth which calls for a new approach.

Bell’s comments come as Statistics South Africa prepares to release the job numbers for the second quarter of 2020.

The unemployment rate was recorded at 30.1% in the first quarter of this year. Bell says the answer to slowing down the unemployment rate lies in reducing the wage bill of cabinet ministers and executives in the private sector.

“So economic growth should not be the only thing we look at.  We should be looking at the health of the economy, the health in terms of people having decent jobs at decent pay. And perhaps we need to seriously start to consider the huge wage and welfare gap.  I mean if you start at the top by looking at Parliament where ministers are paid over R2 million just in terms of their salary where with all the perks in terms of transport expenses etc its worth much more and the same applies in the private sector.”

Meanwhile, founder of Economist.co.za Mike Schussler says the unemployment figure is expected to climb to 34% in the second quarter, from 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020.

The expected increase in the unemployment rate is attributed to the hard lockdown government implemented from March in an effort to arrest the spread of the COVID-19.

Unemployment is expected to have worsened in the second quarter:

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