The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has raised concern at the increasing rate of youth unemployment.
The concern comes in the wake of the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2019 by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday.
Stats SA in the report said the country’s unemployment rate increased by 0.5 of a percentage point to 27.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.
The increase in the unemployment rate is a result of a decline of 237 000 in the number of people in employment and an increase of 62 000 in the number of people who were unemployed between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.
“Last year this time, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported a staggering 34.2% of persons aged 15 – 24 years, who were not in employment, education or training,” the NYDA said on Monday.
Stats SA reported that the number of employed persons decreased by 237 000 to 16.3 million in Q1 of 2019, while the number of unemployed persons increased to 62 000 to 6.2 million compared to Q4 2018.
NYDA executive chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni in the statement reiterated his call for a 40% representation of young people in the workplace across private and public sector institutions.
“We believe the scrapping of experience as a prerequisite to job placements will drastically reduce the number of unemployed graduates. The growing number of discouraged work-seekers and the number of people, who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement, needs urgent attention.
“The commitment by government working together with social partners to place economic growth and job creation at the centre of our national agenda is welcomed. However, we demand that the new government administration increase the speed at which it moves to resolve this dire situation,” said Mtsweni.