South African to Australia and Growing Unemployment

Seven years today we emigrated from South Africa to Australia, the time has flown by, and while South Africa will always have a special place in my heart and has no doubt shaped me culturally for life, Australia is now home.

In this mornings paper I was reading the commentary post the midyear budget release in which Australia is being called to live within its means as the government budget deficit widens. The point I wish to focus on is the fact that unemployment is set to increase from its 6.30% with a GDP growth of 2.5% forecast for 2015. GDP growth above 3% is required to reduce the unemployment rate.

As a young adult in South Africa I always remember reading that South Africa needs to grow GDP at a rate above 5% to maintain the current unemployment, and 6% to start reducing it. I don’t think South Africa has ever grown anywhere near. In fact it did for a short stint at 7.6% however it has averaged 3.07% since 1993 with 1.4% the last actual print.

So when I decided to take a look at the official unemployment rates around the world I was only partially surprised to see that it has the second highest unemployment in the world. It is no wonder that the country has the crime rate it has and I am so grateful to live in such a safe country, despite the crazy fundamentalist siege at the Lindt cade in Sydney.



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