Effects of Unemployment in South Africa

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Unemployment is the result of too many people, too few jobs. In other words unemployment is the result of over-population because over-population is defined as a condition where a country’s human population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment meaning in this case that the populace is more than the amount available or needed jobs. It is also a loss of experience and human development.

In addition (defines unemployment as a result of an inability to find a job to establish self-employment. Gaffikin and Morrissey say it was regarded as a consequence of forces operating outside particular national economies or as a function of low labor productivities which in turn, led to industrial uncompetetiveness and it may be substantially under-recorded and individuals may have no resource to the protection of benefits.

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Mohr and Fourie (2008:498) report that the rate of unemployment is obtained by expressing the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labor force (that is the number of people who are willing and able to work, also called the economically active population or EAP). There are various ways to calculate unemployment, a first option is to use the official census data but it is only conducted every five years and there is a significant lag before the detailed data are published. A second option is to use data on registered unemployment in South Africa, however, such data are not very significant, since only a small portion of the unemployed register as such. A third option is to subtract the number of persons who are formally employed, engaged in the informal sector and engaged in subsistence agriculture from the EAP. The final and most popular option is to use the official estimates of the unemployment rate published by Stats SA. The current unemployment rate is 27.2%.

Determinants, types and causes

Backer (2007:187-208) tells that reasons for unemployment are poor education where by during the apartheid era very little money was spent on educating certain segments of society. Today, the lack of skills and education makes it hard for the people who missed out on a good education to find employment. Imbalance in skills set available where fewer than 50% of children who start school write their final matric examination. This means there are too many unskilled and semi-skilled workers.

There are therefore too many unskilled laborers and insufficient skilled workers. Labor laws where overly protective labor laws (for employees), make it less attractive to hire new staff. Labor Laws I South Africa, for example, make it difficult to dismiss or retrench works. Employers are therefore less keen to employ new people. Technology and automation which are machinery and other technology have replaced employees. Philip (2015:56-58) says overpopulation-too many people in the world, over-urbanization-too many people in the cities, inappropriate technology, over-investment in large scale, capital-intensive industry that requires few workers, inappropriate education and changes in the type of goods and services produced.

Tim and Thomas say cyclical (or demand-deficiency) occurs when a slump or recession in the economy (as a result of a temporary lack of demand) gives rise to unemployment. It is reported that cyclical unemployment is a type of unemployment that is caused by the downturns in the business cycle, deficiency in total spending which affects people’s demand for goods and services. Moller (1992) says it varies according to the business cycle, when the demand for goods and services drops (recession) and employers cannot afford to keep all their workers, so people lose their jobs and unemployment increases. adds by saying during recession few or no jobs are created for people entering the labor market. Even existing workers may lose their jobs through retrenchment.

Possible remedies of unemployment

  1. Strengthen support for young people who do not access formal post-secondary education.
  2. According to Branson, Leinbbrendt and Zuze youth who do complete post-secondary education have a god chance of finding employment, but major efforts are needed to enhance skills development and employability of young people who do not have matric or post-secondary education and training. Branson, Leibbrandt et al also outline that while there are range of interventions currently targeting such young people, further the impact of interventions.

  3. Create work opportunities for youth still at school
  4. Perold, Cloete, Papier interventions aimed at young people who are still at school are also needed to work while they are at school increases the change to find work. Critically Interventions that link school-going youth with the workplace opportunities over the weekends or during school holidays may provide young people with the social and cultural capital they need to access the labor market later on, and help to reduces the higher rate of unemployment among school leavers.

  5. Public works and special employment programs
  6. Barker (1999) indicates that South Africa does not have a system of social security and therefore urgently requires programs to assist unemployed young people who do not have received unemployment insurance. However, the Reconstruction and Development Programs (RDP) states that the systems to provide “handouts” to the unemployed should avoided.

  7. Community development
  8. The findings of Van der Westhuizen (2013) relate to Weyers’ description of community development. The community is empowered to create employment and to ensure access to job opportunities. This requires skills development and self-attitude. Networks are needed, resources must also be developed.

  9. Programmatic Interventions and Stimulating Economic Ways
  10. A review if literature suggests that many different types of programmatic interventions can encourage demand for employment among youth. Government can look for ways of stimulating economic ways through instituting sector policies that promote private initiatives to enhance the ability to improve employment. Sectors that are traditionally dominated by young people should be specifically targeted for policy intervention.

The socio-economic effects unemployment

The following are some of the effects of youth unemployment include:

  1. The tourism sector; Van Schalkwyk describes that the tourism sector also affected by the crises that faces youth in SA, e.g. violence that are established by politicians, mine strikes, workers tend to damage infrastructure. On the other hand, the sector is one of the employees of the labor and fetched 80 billion annually but due to activities that might occur sometimes.
  2. Job insecurity Van Schalkwyk job insecurity is one of the meaningful socio-economic activities which has not been fully understood and integrated our scheme of things. He also postulate that the South African White Paper on Defence (SAWPD) 1996 defines job insecurity in youth as an all-encompassing condition in which individual citizen lives in freedom, peace and safety participate fully in the process of governance, enjoy the protection of fundamental rights, have access to resources and the basic necessities of life, and inhabit and the environment which in not detrimental to their health as well-being. However, according to Oyebede SA’s unemployment can be grouped into two categories; first, the youth unemployed who have lost their jobs though retrenchment, redundancy or bankruptcy and the second ones are the younger unemployed, most of who have never been employed.
  3. Unemployment, inequality and poverty
  4. Triegaardt this are categories of the definitions of poverty as severe poverty, moderate poverty and relative poverty. Severe poverty implies that youth are incapable of meeting their basic needs to enable them to survive. Although they are constantly hungry, have no access to health care, lack save drinking water and hygiene, are unable to afford education for themselves and lack shelter and the essential items such as clothing.

  5. Unemployment and health
  6. Vass (2006) in addition, unemployment is a significant risk for a number of health indicators. The impact can directly related to poverty and low income among the unemployed and this also result in other mental and emotional effects, particularly if one has been unemployed for long period of time (emphases added). According to Ncho, the unemployed youth people are found to have lower level of psychological well-being which may range from symptoms of depression and anxiety through to self-harm and suicide, high rates of morbidity such as limiting long term illness, higher rates of premature mortality in particular for coronary heart disease and injuries and poisoning include suicide.

  7. Unemployment poverty and the cycle of poverty
  8. Lam, Leibbrandt and Mlatsheni (2009) emphasize that in South Africa, the transition from the school to work is not a smooth one, and for most youth it is characterized by a period of unemployment that can stretch to a number of years. Further, Lam et al describe that youth unemployment who do not possess labor market related qualifications are particularly affected by this interrupted transition, a factor that continues to entrench disadvantage.

    One way to mitigate negative outcomes might be to encourage early labor market experience through work while at school. Effectively D’Amico (1988) this implies that manner in which the transition from schooling to work is negotiated has long-lasting implications. Long periods of unemployment between leaving school and entering the labor market affect prospective employer’s views of the perceived productivity of and individual.

  9. Socio-economic issues of unemployment in South Africa
  10. Ginsberg (1998) unemployment leads to criminal activities as their only means of survival for certain groups of the unemployed people. Currently, a serious crime is committed every 17 seconds in South Africa and is mostly committed by youth due to unemployment status. Ginsberg (1998) maintains that 77 young people are arrested for every 1000 crimes committed 22% of reported crimes are over prosecuted. Moreover, our prisons cannot even cope with those who convicted with more than 4 in every 1000 citizens in jail.

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