Increase in SA's youth unemployment 'concerning'

Increase in SA's youth unemployment 'concerning'

Senior economist at Efficient Group Francois Stoffberg says the continuous increase in the youth unemployment rate is a big concern.

Woman looking for jobs in newspaper
Woman looking for jobs in newspaper/Pexels

The latest unemployment figures released by Stats SA show that nearly 4.6 million young people are without a job.

Unemployment fell by 0.2% to 32.7% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Around 7.8 million people did not have a job in this quarter.

Stoffberg warns that an increase in unemployment amongst the youth will create a nation dependent on social assistance.

"It is very concerning because we have a young population and usually we want those young individuals to start working otherwise our labour force is not at all good for the social thinking in South Africa, but it also creates a dependent economy where individuals learn to be dependant instead of finding jobs, learning to gather for themselves and look after themselves.

“So it remains a considerable concern to have youth unemployment of anywhere above 20 -25%, it is really concerning for a developing country like South Africa," says Stoffberg.

Stoffberg warned that unemployment will continue to increase until the economy grows.

"We all know South Africa's economy is under a lot of pressure, we have forecast for this year, and we are not even seeing a growth of 0,3% and usually what that means is that if the economy is not growing fast enough, like ours the population continue to increase at the rate of 1,4 or 1,5% it means the people are becoming poorer.

“It means that there is less money to go around and unemployment increases.

“But luckily, what's been happening over the last few quarters is that unemployment is slightly lower than it was in 2021, overall for the last year it looks good but unfortunately for the long-term unemployment will continue to increase to 35% or even higher over the next couple of years until we can start growing this economy at a rate close to 3%.”


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