Employment scenarios to 2024
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Unemployment and low levels of economic participation are amongst the greatest challenges facing South African society, economy and therefore government. In this light, the South African government has adopted targets of halving unemployment and poverty by 2014. This would reduce unemployment from about 26% in 2004 to 13% in 2014. This paper assembles a set of possible scenarios for 2024, on the basis of the assumption that the 2014 target is met. It is assumed that government would like to see "full employment" by 2024, which in these scenarios is assumed to an unemployment rate of 6.5%. Normally scenarios offer a wider range of possible outcomes: for example, it is of course possible that the 2014 targets are not met. The approach used in this paper is to identify the kinds of decisions that would be required to bolster rates of job creation, under different economic conditions and to set some realistic expectations for how certain market-based sectors might realistically contribute to employment growth.
The assembly of employment scenarios is a multi-faceted exercise. Using the broadest brush strokes, there must be a consideration of where and by what means jobs might feasibly be created, appropriate supportive labour market and social protection policies, and the political economy questions surrounding these choices and trade-offs.