EDITORIAL | Lockdown jobs drain is not a one-off for battered SA
Austerity, already a byword for many South Africans, is about to become a much more widespread contagion
When we talk about jobs in SA we talk not of employment, but of unemployment. The steady erosion of jobs over the past years, and the fact that the anaemic economy has long been unable to absorb meaningful numbers of new, young entrants into the labour market, means the national conversation is always about how bad the situation is, and how much worse it will get.
We are now there: lockdown has delivered a gut punch to an economy that was already on its knees.
The stats are not yet reflecting the job losses during lockdown, with Statistics SA’s Quarterly Employment Statistics for the first quarter, released this week, showing a marginal decline in employment from the previous quarter. Jobs were shed in trade, construction and manufacturing, while in other sectors jobs were added. However, across the board salaries came under pressure in the first quarter. ..