A large number of South African youth spend over 20 hours looking for work in a week. That is approximately three hours a day, including the weekends.
A recent survey by Open Dialogue SA shows that 27.5% of young people spend 20+ hours looking for work, closely followed by 26.7% respondents who said they spend 4 - 8 hours a week looking for work, 17.9% of respondents said they spend 8-12 hours, 15.3% said they spent 2-4 hours and 12.6% of respondents said they spend 12-20 hours looking for work.
In the last three months, 73% of respondents have been looking for work, 18% said they were employed but looking for work, 6% said they were looking for ’some form of employment’, and only 4% said they were not looking for work.
When asked how the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown affected the ability to work, 57% agreed that it became more expensive to job seek, 18.4% of respondents said they lost their jobs, 13.1% said they were forced to relocate, and 11.5% had a decreased income.
A total of 83.8% of respondents said they have to choose between using money to look for jobs and having money for food and bills, while 16.2% of respondents said they did not have this issue.
According to the survey, 56.5% of respondents said they had used a zero-rated or data-free platform to apply for a job, while 43.5% said they have not.
Unemployment statistics in South Africa
According to Stats SA, the official unemployment rate was 46,3% among young people aged 15 – 34 years. This means that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021.
Within the youth, those aged 15–24 years are more vulnerable in the labour market with an unemployment rate of over 63%, an absorption rate of about 7,6% and a labour force participation rate of 20,6%.
The official unemployment rate in South Africa for the first quarter was 32,6%.