Permanent employment in small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) has stagnated in the past year, while employment creation in large firms has remained weak since the 2008 global recession. The World Employment Social Outlook report, released last week by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has painted a bleak picture for global employment in its assessment of firms’ capability to meet its competitiveness and profitability needs while advancing long-term societal goals. In SA, the government has pinned its hopes on the unlocked potential of SMMEs as it battled a stubbornly high jobless rate which stood at 27.7% in the second quarter of 2017. The National Development Plan (NDP) also expects small and expanding firms to generate the majority of new jobs by 2030. About 90%of jobs created between 1998 and 2005 were in micro, small and medium firms, the NDP noted. As the upward trajectory changed for the worse the world over, the UN’s labour agency has pointed to governme...

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