The talking heads at last week’s Jobs Summit among government, business and labour have decreed that they will create 275,000 jobs per year. If it was that easy, why didn’t they promise a million jobs a year? After all, they can always fudge the numbers, as they usually do. Jobs can, apparently, be conjured up by agreement. And for some reason, the correct number to agree to conjure up is 275,000 per year.

There are 9.6 million people who are unemployed, says Ann Bernstein, director of the Centre for Enterprise and Development, writing in Business Day. So if the 275,000-per-year promise holds true, and all of them are permanent jobs, and nobody new enters the labour market, our unemployed people will all be employed 35 years from now, in 2053. But of course, those conditions don’t hold. According to Bernstein, 3.2 million young people came of age to join the adult unemployment queues since 2008. That works out to 320,000 per year. …..more