The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has released a Fast Facts report on the extent of the unemployment crisis in South Africa.
The report found that young black people bore most of the brunt of unemployment and that only policy reform could break South Africa’s unemployment challenge.
The report further found that:
- South Africa’s labour market absorption rate was very low and far below emerging market norms.
- There has been significant job growth since 1994 but this was outpaced by increases in unemployment.
- There was a move away from primary and secondary employment towards more skilled jobs.
- Sectors such as mining and manufacturing have seen significant job losses over the past 20 years.
- People with a tertiary education showed an unemployment rate less than half the national average.
IRR CEO Frans Cronjé said: “The report makes it clear that market-friendly economic reforms and labour market deregulation will be necessary to price poor people into jobs. Growing the economy through more investment leads to an increase in the number of jobs. It is an obvious formula for success but one which many South African policy makers and activists on the left seem loathe to accept.”