"No matter which data set you look at, the fact is that employment is still growing in South Africa ... but we are off target for government's goal of halving unemployment by 2014," said economist for stockbroking firm T-Sec, Mike Schussler.
A new trend emerging is that more people are becoming self-employed. Currently about one in six South Africans has created their own job, or one in four white males. "Very few" of these, however, tend to employ other people. Black females came second in the self-employed category, but this was largely in the informal sector.
As far as salaries are concerned, Schussler said the average package, for the first time in the country's history, is now R10 400 a month. Financial and IT firms generally pay the best while the construction, retail and security sectors lagged behind.
South Africa is the most xenophobic country out of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Libya and South Africa. A quarter of South Africa's population would "just plain prohibit" any foreigners from entering the country, said Schussler quoting a recent Markinor survey.
Forty percent believed "strict limits" should be placed on the number of foreigners entering the country.
The large numbers of undocumented people is highlighted by discrepancies between certain figures. In September there were 34-million cellphones in the country. Using March 2006 Labour Force Survey figures this means that every worker -- both formal and informal -- supports 2,6 mobile phones.
The number of illegal immigrants is also exacerbated by the growing economic gap between South Africa and its neighbours. The average South African is now six times richer than their Zimbabwean counterpart -- and 20 times richer than their Malawian counterpart.
Between 1994 and June 2006, 4,3% of Zimbabwe's population of 13-million people was deported from South Africa. About 6,5% of Mozambique's population was deported during this period.
Illegal immigrants are, however, "not as big a strain" on the economy as imagined.
"Immigrants are seen as a lot more entrepreneurial and about one in five is self-employed," said Schussler.
Often they are skilled workers such as doctors or nurses and are filling employment gaps left by victims of Aids.