Most of SA youth jobless: SAIRR

2011-01-31 15:39

Johannesburg - Among South Africans aged between 15 and 24, 51% are unemployed, an SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) survey has found.

This was more than double the national unemployment rate of 25%, according to the study released on Monday.

The survey found that youth unemployment varied "considerably" among race groups.

It was highest among young black women at 63%, and lowest among young Indian men at 15%.

Of all young blacks, 57% were unemployed, as were 47% of Coloured youth, 23% of Indian youth and 21% of white youth.

The data, which was sourced from Statistics South Africa's quarterly Labour Force Survey, showed that the unemployment rate declined significantly in higher age groups to 29% for those aged 25 to 34, 17% for 35 to 44-year-olds, 12% for 45 to 54-year-olds, and 8% for 55 to 64-year-olds.

Unemployment was lowest among white women aged between 55 and 64 at 1.5%.

Lucy Holborn, of the institute's research department, said the 1.4 million young people officially counted as unemployed did not include those in full-time education.


  • Steve - 2011-01-31 15:49

    Not surprising when it's so easy to get a matric pass nowadays. No wonder people do not want to employ them

  • Duke - 2011-01-31 15:51

    Who, in government, takes responcibility for this appaling state of affairs? We are failing our youth on so many levels it could be regarded as criminal, our health care system fails them from conception to puberty, our education system fails to meet their needs and our labour laws have failed to create the correct climate necessary to create work (decent or otherwise). The youth and their plight are the proverbial "elephant in the room". Listen up ANC and deal with it before we have another Egypt at the tip of Africa!

  • Juan - 2011-01-31 15:55

    Well, if their government bothered to give them PROPER (quality) education they would be more employable, but instead their government blows money on world cups and parties and expensive cars, etc.

  • Bob Marley - 2011-01-31 15:55

    Good! Not even with AA and BEE can they make it. Zuma has got your money and your job! Now go stand in the corner and stop voting anc.

  • Wes - 2011-01-31 16:00

    Ironically, I think the labour laws of this country are preventing people from getting jobs. For example, the high cost of firing people makes a business less inclined to hire people. Minimum wage that makes low skilled work too expensive. Finally the banning of labour brokers and the subsequent move to give temporary workers the same benefits as permanent ones will lead to less temp workers. The money for these benefits have to come from somewhere, my guess it will be come from hiring less temporary workers to pay for these benefits.

  • Johnathan - 2011-01-31 16:01

    Without clarifying Stats SA's definition of what "unemployment" is, this article invites lots of misinformed comments, once again... To clarify, according to Stats SA you are only unemployed if you have no job and you have been actively looking for a job without finding one in the four weeks before the survey was undertaken. That means if you have decided to retire or you have given up home of finding a job, you are not counted as being "unemployed". A better stat to quote with regard to the racial comparisons would be the labour force participation rate or the absorption rate.

  • Rikesh Ishwarlall - 2011-01-31 16:05

    Ask yourself, what are Indians (minority) doing right ? Education = Progress.

  • Johnathan - 2011-01-31 16:20

    Steve, more than 50% of those who enter the school system don't even reach matric... That's even more worrying than how "easy" matric is.

  • roxy - 2011-01-31 16:21

    How can they count 15 - 18 year olds in this survey? If they were employed - it would be child labour! This must skew the stats?

  • LUKE - 2011-01-31 16:23

    This story appears at the same time as the one refering to Increased Powers for Labour Inspectors. No wonder unemployment is so high, the unions and Labour laws have such a stranglehold on employers, we would rather reduce our workforce than hire,

  • Realist - 2011-01-31 16:24

    The majority of Black and coloured kids are taking care of their kids, most of them don't even go out looking for work, Government gives them a grant every month, they also have they baby "daddies" taking care of them. . .a fair majority should not even be counted as unemployed as they are not even seeking employment. I know this because I am black and I stay in the townships. . .You cannot exactly blame the Government for a person that becomes pregnant in Grade 7 and then decide they are too cool for school.

  • 50 CALIBER - 2011-01-31 16:28


  • Tom - 2011-01-31 16:28

    @ Wes, could not have said it better... With the slave trade booming in China it costs more to manufacture something locally then to import. To all those people that would say that the local companies are just too expensive believe me, I run my own company and competition is tough there is no chance of over inflating your prices in the manufacturing field. People want huge salaries for very little output (tomorrow is another day attitude) Guess what I have no intentions to hire or train any new staff!

  • Tom - 2011-01-31 16:31

    @ Wes, could not have said it better... With the slave trade booming in China it costs more to manufacture something locally then to import. To all those people that would say that the local companies are just too expensive believe me, I run my own company and competition is tough there is no chance of over inflating your prices in the manufacturing field. People want huge salaries for very little output (tomorrow is another day attitude) Guess what I have no intentions to hire or train any new staff!

  • Tumo,tbz - 2011-01-31 16:31

    Stil after 16 yrs of democracy our government still failing to create jobs for SA youths' .ANC has to do something before it is to late.

  • scud - 2011-01-31 16:36

    Most of them are totally unemployable with their ANC education. But of course they only want decent jobs.

  • dougalan - 2011-01-31 16:38

    If the ANC leadership were not so busy choosing the latest Mercs, drinking Johnny Walker Black and taking public money for their own use, they SHOULD have: 1)Trained more teachers 2) Continued with Technikons and Training Colleges instead of shutting them down 3) Continued with the apprenticeship system 4) Not allowed an attitude of 'I'm entitled because I am Black' to arise. Unfortunately, the ANC has stuffed up in spades over the past 17 years, and South Africa could well pay dearly for it in days to come.

  • Bang-bang - 2011-01-31 16:39

    I reckon real life is around 75% of people who could work are unemployed. Politicians and statistics would never ever let the facts mess with a good story.

  • Sloberdan - 2011-01-31 16:48

    I have employed young school leavers is the past! Never again!!! After 6 -12 months of intensive training, they leave to go to opposition, because they will get an extra R50 per week.... never mind the cost to train them from SCRATCH! I now do without them, keeps my overheads low! I smell a Tinusia / Egypt coming.... so many jobless, yet the FEW that have benifitted from the BEE/AA appointments/ Tenders are living like KINGS, whilst the poor live in Squalour!

  • Rudeshin - 2011-01-31 16:49

    @ Rikesh, As I live in Durban, I have a birds idea view of job patterns and one thing I will say is that Indians live the mantra of nepotism in the work place and it is not uncommon for one's cousin brothers twice removed to be working under one roof. If you think I'm being racist (Incedently, I am Indian), I shall be glad to provide evidence of this common practice..

  • Black girl - 2011-01-31 16:53

    Should everything be about race, you disgust me.

  • Simon - 2011-01-31 17:30

    I am getting tired of this race card blame. this is a democratic government that has failed the youth not the ANC. It seems to me that others do not understand that every party is represented in government. Moreover we are all aware that the same democratic government has done far better than the apartheid government so stop pulling the race card blame and make serious inputs like positive suggestions for a change. this will affect you directly. Unemployment is now also growing amongst the previously advantage community and becoming greater amongst black, showing signs that we are all affected. the private sector needs to work together with the public sector. if this does not happen we will see both White, Coloured and Blacks suffering. These statistics however reveals that the Indian community is getting closer (equating) to the white statistics this shows a great improvement. Nothing is mentioned however about the African-foreign comumunity and the chinese who also enjoy the BEE status. We also need to relook at BEE is it suceessful or not and not really just few minority gain and others fronting. the statistics also show that EE has not been implemented; and does this mean that the companies that we work for are criminals, because they have been asked to implement both AA and EE many years ago, how can it be so hard when you have many young people with skills and education?

  • paul - 2011-01-31 20:28

    people not willing to work hard to become something in life.most is willing to work if pay is more than the boss. don't want to start at the bottom

  • Mike - 2011-01-31 20:59

    @Simon - some good points. However, unfortunately, the ANC is trying to fix an economic problem by applying ideologically driven socio-political solutions, and not surprisingly they are not working. While economic disparity may have been created by apartheid, it does not hold that reversing apartheid will "uncreate" the problem. The ANC needs to focus on quality education and growing the economy to create more jobs (the two, of course, go hand-in-hand). Instead it is trying to provide "education for all" at the lowest common quality and socialising the economy so that "capitalist greed" does not "prevail" In a phrase? Just plumb dumb.

  • Fred - 2011-02-01 07:26

    Simon, every party is represented in parliament, not in the government. The government is the ANC nd some fellow travellers, the other parties make up the opposition. The ills of the country lie at the feet of the gov't (ANC), despite the efforts of (some of) the opposition to improve matters.

  • arfie - 2011-02-01 07:36

    We need to go back to basics, starting with BIRTH CONTROL, children can not have children.QUALITY education is next, maybe then they will be employable. Continued with Technikons and Training Colleges instead of shutting them down Continued with the apprenticeship system, then the average age of our artisans will not be 56years of age! Encourage investment, stop preaching NATIONALISATION of government assets. Government should also realise that they work for the people of this country and not the other way around. Lets vote for the end of corruption and vote for value for our money!

  • SIMON - 2011-02-01 11:27

    @Mike thanks for noting and @Fred I must disagree with you on that one. Government is not just about a rulling political power but an administration which is national, provincial and local encompassing all political parties. Parliament on the other hand it is an assembly made of legislative elected body and sometimes not elected representative that represent parties that were not voted into power, and this is where the laws that gorvern the state are taken. hence we talk of democratic government not ANC we mean that it is a collective government, which the people freely elect their representative or government administrators. There are different opinions around the quality of education in RSA, but I believe that this statistics have nothing to do with the quality because we do have a lot of young people in positions where they are over educated, for instance those who hold degrees are in post which only require matric and so forth. hence we are now talking of unemployed educated and skilled youth or older groups. The global warming is driving us to change policies and Nationalisation of some industries can be applied successful as it was in other countries. For instance, if you study farming you will come to realise that RSA should not be a farming destination in the first place - due to climate changes; but this is an arguement that needs to be debated by our economists.

  • Beg-to-Differ - 2011-02-01 16:12

    @ Rikesh, it's Nepotism and not just Education, there are so many educated unemployed youths from other race groups.

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