The impact of economic growth on unemployment in South Africa: 1994-2012

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One of the most pressing problems facing the South African economy is unemployment, which has been erratic over the past few years. This paper analyzed the impact of economic growth on unemployment, using quarterly South African time series data from 1994-2012. The results of Johansen cointegration reflected that a long run equilibrium or relationship exists among the variables. In ascertaining the effects of macroeconomic variables thus REER, LP, GDP and BUG on unemployment in South Africa, the study utilized vector error correction model (VECM). The results of VECM indicated that GDP, BUG and REER have positive long run impact on unemployment whilst LP negatively impact unemployment. The study resulted in the following policy recommendation: South African government should redirect its spending towards activities that directly and indirectly promote creation of employment and decent jobs, a conducive environment and flexible labor market policies or legislations without impediments to employment creation should be created, and lastly government should prioritize industries that promote labor intensive. All this will help in absorbing large pools of the unemployed population thereby reducing unemployment in South Africa

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