Next week, the South Africa-China Job Fair of the Association for Economy and Trade (SACETA) plans to bring together 100 companies, hoping to bring 1,000 jobs to the country’s unemployed youth.
According to Statistics South Africa, SA’s unemployment rate rose to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 34.9% the previous period, the highest unemployment rate since comparable data began in 2008.
According to Quarterly Labor Force Survey in the first quarter of 2021, young people are still struggling in the South African job market, with last year’s official unemployment rate ranging between 32.6% and 46.3% among those aged 15 to 34 years.
The SA-SACETA job fair which will take place next Thursday at the Gallagher Conference Center in Midrand – attended by Vice Minister Alvin Botes of the Department for International Relations and Cooperation, the Minister of Employment and Labor Thulas Nxesi, l Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong, Deputy SACETA – President Chen Longjian and Huawei South Africa CEO Fan Wen, CEO – have set a goal of offering 1,000 jobs to unemployed South Africans, mostly young people.
This is because 100 Chinese blue chip companies based in South Africa have set a goal of offering nearly 20,000 jobs to locals over the next three years.
A plethora of positive impacts
Commenting on the SA-SACETA initiative, Johannesburg University Economics Professor Peter Baur said: “These prospects are good and create all kinds of positive impacts, especially through the multiplier process.
“This means that the income earned will have a much greater impact on the economy. Income always translates into savings, which can become an investment in the future. This income and expenditure ratio will positively stimulate businesses in other sectors.
“The challenge is to have an efficient transmission mechanism that allows investments to translate into jobs, which translate into growth.”
Baur said labor market regulation, coupled with rising energy and food costs, as well as low levels of economic growth, present additional challenges for investors, which in turn have an impact on youth unemployment.
Citing data from the commercial economy, Baur added: “Due to the relatively low economic growth rates – around 1.2% since December 2021 – there is little chance that many young people will drop out of school and find work in the foreseeable future. .
“Consumer confidence is already under pressure. Coupling this with rising energy costs and 6.4% food price inflation, many of these young people are going through both emotional pressure – they feel they aren’t good enough – and social stigmatism for not being able to. to contribute to family income. “
There is also a problem within youth unemployment of not finding a job that meets skill levels.
“While having a tertiary qualification can help them find a job – given the poverty of families and growing income inequality – the option of completing a tertiary education is even more out of reach for many.
“My concern is that young people who struggle to enter the labor market and are subsequently forced into poverty may also have an impact on families due to the growing burden of dependence.
“The burden of dependency impacts the economy in several ways, the most important being the loss of household savings, impacting household years as the current workforce is retired, without much savings to support. old age”.
This lack of savings results in a lack of significant contributions to the economy, as well as straining those who are already retired.
Furthermore, the retirement prospects for unemployed young people remain dire.
“This also adds to the political pressure, as young people seek an acceptable explanation for their current situation.
“The impact is long-term, especially as this loss of productivity, which results in a loss of income, may never be consolidated in the future.”