According to The Economist’s Pocket World in Figures, South Africa has the highest rate of unemployment for young people in the world.
The publication’s 2017 figures estimate that a startling 57.4% of our youth are unemployed.
Pocket World in Figures is a book issued annually by the US financial publication, which they have been putting out for more than 25 years. The edition is said to include “data from over 190 countries, presented in a series of rankings and country profiles”.
The Citizen reported in May that youth unemployment is alarmingly high in South Africa, with the International Labour Organization (ILO) recording about 71 million unemployed youth, aged 15–24 years in 2017. This also means that many youths face long-term unemployment.
According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), 38.2% of people aged between 15-34 are unemployed, which means more than one-third of young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018.
Stats SA’s employment figures for 2018 found that 32.4% (approximately 3.3 million) young South Africans were not in employment, education, or training – implying that close to one-third of South African youths between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2018.
Speaking at a Volvo Trucks youth development event at the Volvo assembly plant in Amanzimtoti, president Cyril Ramaphosa called youth unemployment the greatest challenge to social development in South Africa.