Cape Town - Approximately 8.2 million (40.1%) of South Africa’s 20.4 million young people aged 15 to 34 are not in employment, education or training of any sort, according to the latest figures released by Statistics SA in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS).
At the same time, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 29.1% in Q4:2019 compared to Q3:2019.
Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said: “There was no change recorded in the unemployment rate between Q3:2019 and Q4:2019.
“This is the first time since 2008 that the unemployment rate has not decreased in the fourth quarter.
Economist Mike Schussler said: “These are not good numbers at all.
“Normally December sees more jobs as retailers and hotels hire temporary workers and agricultural starts major planting season. Over the last four years South Africa created 121000 jobs in the last quarter.
“Last year we only created 45000 or about a third of the normal.
“In the first quarter we get the school leavers and graduates entering and many temp holiday jobs fall away.
“With 10.4 million people unemployed in the fourth quarter, I fear the rate could climb again to closer to 30% on standard definition - people who are jobless, actively seeking work, and available to take a job - and 40% on the broader one: people who are unemployed and available to work but have not taken steps to look for work.”
The Northern Cape recorded the highest rate of young people aged 15 to 24 years not in employment, education or training in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 37% unemployed, a 1.6% increase year on year.
The Western Cape recorded the lowest, with 26.2% unemployed, a fall of 0.2% year on year. Economic Opportunities and Tourism MEC David Maynier said: “We created 24000 new jobs in the last quarter in the Western Cape and maintained the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
“However, we will continue to work hard to grow the economy because there are still too many people, especially young people, who don’t have jobs or have given up looking.”