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South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) the latest employment data indicates an unemployment rate of 25.2% in terms of the narrow definition and 35.1% if the broad definition is used. 

The “narrow unemployment rate” refers to people who are unemployed and actively seeking work, while the “broad unemployment rate” refers to people who are unemployed and available to work but have not taken active steps to look for work. 

But do the country’s youth really account for 70% of the unemployed? South Africa’s National Youth Policy defines “youth” as those aged 14 to 35. Using this age range, both the narrow and broad definition of unemployment show that youth make up 67% of South Africa’s unemployed population.

South Africa’s official employment data has not been without controversy and economists and the country’s Reserve Bank have reportedly expressed scepticism about Stats SA’s numbers. 

Interesting fact, but what is the way forward?

Does our educational system help closing this gap?