No Country for Young People: The Crisis of Youth Unemployment and What to Do About It

This report seeks to do three things. In the first section, we try to provide a clear account of the scale of the crisis of youth unemployment, making the point that the sheer number of unemployed young people means that South Africa needs to think hard about the extent to which the approach to addressing this issue has any chance of success. The second section reviews the principal approaches that are commonly discussed for resolving youth unemployment and seeks to show that there is little likelihood that these approaches will have much more than a marginal impact on the numbers of young unemployed. The final section makes the case that only systemic reforms that increase the rate of job creation and reduce the rate of job destruction significantly will lead to rapid reductions in youth unemployment. This will generate faster growth and push South Africa onto a more labour-intensive development trajectory.