South Africa's jobs market is entering a new era, one in which it could absorb less labour than in the past - even if growth returns to the economy. A shift to a service-driven economy in line with global trends would not be a panacea for the country's unemployment challenge, economic experts said, as labour statistics published this week revealed a deterioration in the unemployment rate. Unemployment registered 27.7% in the third quarter of 2017 - a 0.6 percentage point deterioration from the same period a year ago, StatsSA said in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on Tuesday. Nicholas Ngepah, professor of economics at the University of Johannesburg, said South Africa was also likely to fall short of employment targets envisaged in the National Development Plan, given the automation-driven fourth industrial revolution. "We are entering a different kind of era. I believe that when growth takes off again it will not be as absorptive of employment as in the past because of a ...

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