Statistics SA reveals that unemployment rose from 36.3% in 1999 to 37.3% in 2000. Even the ‘official’ figures which exclude ‘discouraged job seekers’, show a rise from 23.3% to 26.7% and a new report on job losses shows a 15% loss in formal sector jobs in ten years.
Cosatu notes with alarm two new reports which confirm its
view that unemployment has become a national emergency.
Statistics SA reveals that unemployment rose from 36.3% in
1999 to 37.3% in 2000. Even the ‘official’ figures which
exclude ‘discouraged job seekers’, show a rise from 23.3%
to 26.7%. The p,e,o,p,l,e report11 Formerly the Andrew Levy and Associates Labour Relations Report on job losses shows a 15%
loss in formal sector jobs in ten years.
These figures represent a disaster both for the workers
concerned, their families, and the economy as a whole. They
refute government assurances that new jobs are being created.
Even more alarming is the p,e,o,p,l,e report’s prediction of a
further 3% decline in the number of jobs this year.
We note with particular concern that last year the rate of job
losses in the public sector (4%) was double that in the private
sector (2%). This vindicates Cosatu’s opposition to policies of
privatisation, downsizing and outsourcing in the public sector,
which have all contributed to this loss of jobs. The federation
will continue to campaign against the destruction of jobs in the
Cosatu notes with concern the reported drop in trade union
membership from 3.8 million in 1998 to 3.3 million in 1999
but is proud to report that our own the total membership has
remained stable around 1.8 million in this period, despite the
job losses. This indicates that workers with jobs see an even
greater need for trade union protection in this difficult period.
Andrew Levy is correct to predict that organised labour will
“become more vocal in its role as protector of jobs”. Cosatu
will redouble its efforts to defend all workers, employed and
unemployed, and their families, and to extend its help to
workers in the informal sector, where 1.9 million new jobs
were created last year.
1 Formerly the Andrew Levy and Associates Labour