Today's Labour News

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newsBusiness Times writes that the economic devastation inflicted by the Covid-19 lockdown has already forced several companies to shed jobs and more job cuts appear inevitable as the pandemic rages on.  

First National Bank economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya believes SA has yet to grasp the full impact on employment, which will begin to emerge in the second-quarter data.  She expects job losses to reach over 1-million this year, while the Nedbank Economic Unit expects the figure to be about 1.6-million.  Many economists predict retrenchments will continue until at least the end of this year.  According to Sanisha Packirisamy of Momentum Investments, those who are laid off may end up in long-term unemployment as they lose out on exposure to on-the-job training.  As reskilling employees to work in different sectors poses a significant challenge, the post-Covid-19 jobs crisis could bring with it a rise in long-term unemployment, a reduction in labour productivity and increased poverty.  The longer people remain unemployed, the harder it becomes for them to get rehired, particularly in the case for young people.  Moreover, mechanisation and automation could speed up in sectors that can easily substitute labour with capital.  Seifsa economist Marique Kruger says that the Covid-fuelled job losses will delay efforts to reindustrialise the economy, but at the same time they will present an opportunity to rejig employment opportunities in line with new work roles.  She has urged the government to strategically support initiatives that will provide the unemployed with specific skills that will enable them to compete in the job market and be ready for new opportunities.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jane Steinacker at BusinessLive


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