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South Africa Tops Chart With The Highest Rate Of Youth Unemployment


South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate amongst the other countries in the world.

The Department of Statistics South Africa reported on Tuesday, that the unemployment rate increased to 29 percent of the labour force in the second half of 2019 from 27.6 percent recorded in the first few months of the year.

The youth aged 15–24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market as the unemployment rate among this age group was 55,2% in the 1st quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31,0% during this period compared to 19,5% in the 4th quarter of 2018

Department of Statistics South Africa

What are the figures?

The percentage of youth aged 15–24 years who were not in employment, education or training increased from 31,6% in the second quarter of 2018 to 32,3% in second-quarter of 2019.

In this age group, the rate for unemployed males increased by 1,6 percentage points, while the rate for females decreased by 0,2 of a percentage point. However, the rate for females was higher than the males in the past two years.

The burden of unemployment is concentrated amongst the youth (aged 15–34 years) as they account for 63,4% of the total number of unemployed persons. Almost 4 in every 10 young people in the labour force did not have a job, with the unemployment rate within this group at 39,6% in the 1st quarter of 2019.

Just under 30% of the youth have jobs and about half of them (48,8%) participate in the labour market. The unemployment rate among adults (aged 35–64 years) was 18,0% during this period, while the employment-to-population ratio and labour force participation rate were 57,4% and 70,0%, respectively, for this group.

Department of Statistics South Africa

The compiled data shows that in the fourth quarter of every year, unemployment among youth increases. In the first quarter of the year, there are new entrants into the labour market, which causes a slight increase in the unemployment rate of the youth in South Africa.

The majority (85,7%) of the young unemployed graduates aged 15–24 years were new entrants into the labour market in the 1st quarter of 2019, while the rest have either lost their previous jobs, left their previous jobs or were re-entrants into the labour market.

Department of Statistics South Africa
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