SA Professionals ‘Less Confident About Economic Outlook’ Than a Year Ago
05 September 2013
Posted by: Author: Amanda Visser
Author: Amanda Visser (BusinessDay)
South African professionals are less confident about the economic outlook for the country than a year ago, with only 55% feeling confident in the second quarter of 2013 compared with 60% during the same period in 2012.
According to the latest PPS professional confidence index, as they become less confident about the economy, professionals are also becoming less confident of their chances of remaining in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
While in 2011 and 2012 more than 80% felt confident they would stay, only 77% still felt that way in the first and second quarter of 2013.
PPS, which has more than 200,000 graduate professionals as members, launched the confidence index in 2011. It tracks the confidence levels of more than 3,000 graduates quarterly.
PPS head of marketing and stakeholder relations Gerhard Joubert said it was important for South Africa to retain skilled professionals such as attorneys, dentists, doctors, nurses and veterinarians.
The percentage of unemployed university graduates, at 16%, was minimal when compared with other people with nondegree tertiary education.
Almost 30% of matriculants are unemployed and 42% of people with less than 12 years of schooling are without work.
A recent report by the Centre for Development and Enterprise looked at trends in graduate employment from 1995 to 2011. It showed that the number of graduates in the workforce had more than doubled from 460,000 to more than 1-million in the period under review. Only 5% were unemployed.
The PPS confidence index showed that although 51% of the respondents agreed with the principle behind the government’s National Health Insurance plan, 85% did not think the plan would solve the country’s ailing health system, given the state’s current inability to meet basic delivery standards.
Graduates were also deeply concerned about the lack of tax incentives to encourage people to save, with 91% believing there were not enough incentives.
Only 60% of the graduates thought they would have saved enough by the time they retire. "This is quite alarming, given that they are in a better position than many other people to provide for their old age," Mr Joubert said.