News / South Africa
Youth Month has arrived and while many young people celebrate a significant milestone in their lives, stats have shown that more than 9.3% of university graduates are unemployed.
This after South Africa’s unemployment rate reached a record-high of 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021. Graduating for many reflects the beginning of their lives and their independence but, in reality, it is the start of one of the glaring issues facing the youth.
ALSO READ: SA official unemployment rate hits record high of 32.6%
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday released its Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which highlighted that people aged between 15 to 24 years and 24 to 34 years have recorded the highest unemployment rates of 63.3% and 41.3% respectively.
This has been the highest unemployment rate since 2008 during the global financial crisis. Economist Mike Schussler said all was not lost as SA will hopefully see a drop in the unemployment rate in the next few quarters.
Schussler also said his biggest worry was that, as a country, SA was far behind the curve. Many countries were already coming back and seeing their unemployment rates decline.
Meanwhile, Wits University spokeswoman Shirona Patel said at least 92% of their students get formal employment six months after graduating. And 90% of those unemployed students were waiting for placements in medical institutions or schools.
Trade union federation Cosatu said the government and the private sector have failed the economy on the implementation of the economic recovery plan.
“We can look forward to an economic depression and a rising unemployment rate if there is no paradigm shift away from the neoliberal macroeconomic framework,” said Cosatu.
“This has seen the youth unemployment rate in SA rising to 63.3% in the first quarter of 2021, from 63.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020.”