Youth unemployment rate higher irrespective of level of education

Unemployment numbers are released every quarter by Statistics South Africa, even during the Covid-19 lockdown period, and as expected, during 2020, unemployment continued to increase. In May 2019 however, Statistics South Africa released their quarterly unemployment numbers to also include the levels of education and have not included these statistics since then. 

In this release they showed that youth unemployment was highest irrespective of the level of education compared to older citizens in South Africa. The image below shows the unemployment rate for the youth (bars to the far left per level of education and compares the respective unemployment rates per level of education with that of other age groups).

From the above it is clear that the youth is far less likely to find a job or to be absorbed into the job market than those who are older. The question is why and whether something can be done to reverse this trend? Does the youth expect too high a salary for their first job, or perhaps what their role will be when they enter the job market? Does the total lack of experience count against them and firms would rather employ older more experienced staff?

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