CDE Statement on Youth Unemployment 16 June 2021: Catastrophe

The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) statistics confirm a shocking reality: three out of every four South Africans (74.7%) between the ages of 15 and 24 who want a job cannot find one. For those between the ages of 25 and 34, things are comparatively better, yet still the worst they have ever been: more than half (51.4%) of them are unemployed. Tackling this crisis by accelerating labour-intensive growth has to be the country’s highest priority. Unless young people become part of the employed work force in much larger numbers soon, politics will continue to fracture and become increasingly dysfunctional, human potential will be wasted, and hopes of achieving a more inclusive, stable, and prosperous country will remain merely pipedreams.