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SA's high unemployment rate a result of uncertain economy - economist

Stats SA announced on Tuesday that South Africa's unemployment rate remained at 29.1% - the highest it has been since 2008.

FILE: Cosatu members strike against the country's high unemployment and the unbundling of Eskom on 13 February 2019. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Economists said that muted growth in weaker industries looked set to remain because of the disappointing GDP forecasts.

Stats SA announced on Tuesday that South Africa's unemployment rate remained at 29.1% - the highest it has been since 2008.

The organisation said that trade, manufacturing and utilities were the biggest contributors to the decrease in employment.

FNB senior economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi said that the recent employment figures were disappointing because they did not show the expected improvement in festive season trade and employment.

He said that this was clear from the decrease in jobs during the last quarter.

Economist Azar Jammine said that the unemployment rate was as a result of an uncertain economy.

"On the one hand, you have employees who are not sufficiently educated and skilled to add value to businesses to be employable and secondly, you have a labour market that is unfriendly towards taking on workers on a full-time basis."

While there's much anticipation about how Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will address the job crisis in his budget, Jammine said he doubted that Mboweni would go into much detail on what needed to be done to create more jobs.

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