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 – an increase of 11,4 percentage points quarter-on-quarter. However, the graduate unemployment rate is still lower than the rate among those with other educational levels, meaning that education is still the key to these young people’s prospects improving in the South African labour market.
According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) results released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), a decline in employment (down by 237 000) and an increase in unemployment (up by 62 000) in the 1st quarter of 2019, compared to the 4th quarter of 2018, led to a decline in the labour force participation rate, which is now standing at 59,3%. Unemployment in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 0,5 of a percentage point, bringing the rate to 27,6%.
he 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.
YEISA strategic developmental plan is mainly to create job opportunities through projects in partnerships with funders and donors, such projects will close the gap between skilled and unskilled youth in all communities. The projects aim to improve the social and economic conditions in communities. We invite unemployed youth to be part of our initiative.