Two out of every three young African women are jobless, according to the latest South Africa Survey just published by the South African Institute of Race Relations in Johannesburg.
The unemployment rate among all 15-24 year-olds is 51%, more than twice the national unemployment rate of 25%.
Unemployment is highest among African women aged 15-24, at 63%. Youth unemployment is lowest among Indian men, at 15%.
The youth unemployment rate varies considerably between the races: it is 57% among Africans, 47% among coloured youths, 23% among Indians, and 21% among white youths.
The data, sourced from Statistics South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey, shows that the unemployment rate declines significantly with higher age groups. The unemployment rate is 51% for 15-24 year-olds, 29% for 25-34 year-olds, 17% for 35- 44 year-olds, 12% for 45-54 year-olds, and 8% for 55- 64 year olds.
Unemployment is lowest among white women aged 55- 64 years, at 1.5%. Ms Lucy Holborn of the research department at the Institute said that when looking at youth unemployment it was important to note that the 1.4 million young people that are officially counted as unemployed did not include those in full-time education and not looking for a job.
‘The official youth unemployment rate of 51% also does not include discouraged workseekers - those who are willing and available to work but who have given up looking for a job, perhaps because there are none in their area or because they do not have enough money to do so,' Ms Holborn said. ‘Unemployment is already very high, but these figures show that it is disproportionately affecting young people and those entering the job market.'
In September 2010 the minister of higher education, Mr Blade Nzimande, described youth unemployment as a ‘ticking time bomb'.
Statement issued by the South African Institute of Race Relations, January 31 2011
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