While global unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in almost 40 years, SA is among four countries with an unemployment rate higher than that immediately preceding the 2007/08 global financial crisis. The worldwide unemployment rate dropped from 8% in 2010 to 5.2% in September 2018, according to a report by investment bank UBS — the lowest level since the 5% unemployment rate recorded in 1980. The steep decline has been attributed to more flexible working practices, lower wages and rock-bottom interest rates. The decline is also largely due to sharp falls in unemployment in industrialised countries. However, unemployment in Greece, Italy and Spain is more than 2 percentage points higher than the precrisis level of December 2007, according to the report, and in SA it is 5.4 percentage points higher. The UBS survey covered 48 developed and emerging economies that between them account for 84% of global output. The report categorises someone as employed if he or she did any paid wo...

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