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StatsSA unemployment rates suggest youth is discouraged by labour market

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StatsSA revealed the unemployment statistics for young people in SA on International Youth Day, noting that most are discouraged and disengaged from participating in the labour market.

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), on Thursday, 12 August 2021, which is observed as International Youth Day, released the country’s youth unemployment statistics. StatsSA noted that according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) of the first quarter of 2021, young people are still struggling in the labour market, with the official unemployment rate sitting at 32.6 percent.

StatsSA revealed that of this rate were 46.3 percent of young people aged 15–34, meaning that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter. About 24.4 percent were employed, with 45.3 percent participating in the labour market. StatsSA further stated that the burden of unemployment was concentrated amongst the youth, as they accounted for 59.5 percent of the total number unemployed persons, and that irrespective of education level, the unemployment rate was still high. Unemployed graduates stood at 40.3 percent for those aged 15–24, and 15.5 percent for those aged 25–34.

StatsSA also noted that young people are discouraged and also disengaged from participating in the labour market, and they are also reportedly not building on their skills base through education and training. Moreover, they are not in employment, education or training (NEET).

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