8 February 2012South Africa’s unemployment rate fell to 23.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday.Releasing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter, Stats SA said the country’s unemployment rate was down by 1.1% to 23.9% from the third quarter’s 25%.There were 13.5-million people employed in the fourth quarter, as employment increased by 365 000 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.“Comparing the same period of 2010 and 2009, this is the first growth observed on a year-on-year basis in quarter four since 2009,” said Stats SA’s Kefiloe Masiteng.On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces had the most job gainsYear-on-year, 453 000 more people were employed in South Africa’s formal sector in the fourth quarter, making it the highest year-on-year growth in the formal sector since the end of the recession in 2009.The formal sector job gains were driven by finance and other business services, trade and community and social services.Masiteng said the growth in employment was good, adding that “we hope it can be maintained”.Loss in informal sector jobsWhile there was growth in South Africa’s formal sector, the country’s informal sector lost 91 000 jobs year-on-year. In the third quarter, it also recorded a decline. It had shown five successive quarters of year-on-year growth before.“This is the first time that the informal sector shed jobs in the fourth quarter year-on-year,” noted Stats SA.Unemployment was highest among people aged 15 to 34 years, with the unemployment rate for women continuing to be higher than the national average. Those who did not have matric certificates made up the majority of the unemployed.Although there was a decline in unemployment in the fourth quarter, 4.2-million people remained unemployed, with 2.9-million having been looking for work for over a year or longer.Challenging conditions to persistIn their commentary, Nedbank economists said that although the decline in unemployment was encouraging, challenging economic conditions locally and globally were expected to persist in 2012.“This could weigh on business confidence and discourage organisations from expanding production capacity. This would restrict the pace of job creation.”Standard Bank, meanwhile, said economic conditions suggested that labour markets might remain weak. “Based on our current forecasts, the prospects in the jobs market are not encouraging, with the unemployment rate likely to follow a slightly declining trend,” the bank said.Source: BuaNews
Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in the state at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, as the minimum temperature across Kashmir division dropped by several degrees due to dry weather and clear sky.The night temperature in Leh dropped from the previous night’s low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the Meteorological Department here said.Along with Leh, the temperature at other places across Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, went down last night due to dry weather and clear sky.Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded minimum temperature of 0.9 degree Celsius down from the previous night’s 2.7 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.He said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir along Srinagar—Jammu national highway, registered a low of 0.4 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 0.2 degree Celsius.Kupwara town of north Kashmir had registered a minimum of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, a decrease of three degrees from 0.5 degree Celsius yesterday.The night temperature recorded at the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir was minus 6.6 degrees Celsius down about seven degrees from the previous night’s 0.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.He said Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, adding the resort had yesterday recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius.He said the resort was the coldest place in the Valley.The spokesman said the weather is likely to remain dry for a few days after which there is possibility of another wet spell from February 26.
Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has blamed poor technique of Indian batsmen for the team’s dismal show in the Test series in England, saying the tourists have looked like a “school boys’ team”.Team India was found wanting in all three departments of batting, bowling and fielding as they were outplayed by the English side.Down 2-nil in the series, Team India’s two losses in the series have exposed a lot of chinks in their armour and experts worry that if India does not improve immediately M.S. Dhoni’s team stand to lose their top Test ranking.Scathing in his criticism of the world number one side, Gavaskar states that the Indians have been “totally outplayed by England in the second Test so much so that it looked like a contest between a professional team and a school boys’ team”.Gavaskar elaborates, “The batting has failed to get to 300 in four innings and the bowling in both Tests has faded away after a bright beginning”.Talking specifically about the batsmen, the master criticises the batting technique of both the seniors and the youngsters in the side: Getting onto the front foot and they suddenly find that when it comes to overseas pitches and the quicker bowlers, “they just don’t know how to play off the back foot”.India just does not care about international commitments: HoldingThe poor show by Dhoni and company in England is drawing flak world wide.Legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding has slammed Indian cricketers for below average performance so far, even claiming that it was the money that was on offer in the IPL that had ensured that the Indians just did not care about their international commitments. The former pacer questioned why none of the players pull out of IPL with injuries, suggesting that the money on offer ensured that international commitments take a back seat. Holding went on to accuse Team India of neither playing like world champions nor putting in extra effort.advertisement