Unemployment remains high amongst black South Africans compared to other races, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said on Wednesday.
The Statistician General said this when he released the Labour Market Dynamics for South Africa for 2014 at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament on Wednesday.
He said for this reason, South Africa was unlikely to achieve a demographic dividend by the year 2030.
A demographic dividend is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working age population – RSA 15 to 64 – RSA is larger than the non-working age share of the working age population, 14 and younger or 65 and older.
“The demographic dividend cannot happen with the youth having this kind of unemployment. You can see it if you break up the race groups, you can see it amongst white people, amongst Indians but not amongst black people,” he said.
He said unemployment was concentrated amongst black Africans, the less educated, the youth, women and those without prior work experience.
In 2014, individuals with less than a matric qualification accounted for 59.2 percent of the unemployed, down from 64 percent in 2008.
The Statistician General said that more than half of the unemployed indicated that they had a job prior to becoming unemployed.
In the same period, the number of long-term unemployed persons increased, with more than half of the unemployed looking for a job for more than a year.
“In 2014, those with a below-matric qualification accounted for 59.3 percent of the unemployed.
“The incidence of long-term unemployment was highest for those aged 45 to 54 years in both 2008 and 2014.
“However, the incidence increased most over the period for youth aged 15 to 24 years,” he said.
He also said that a large proportion of women compared to men were unemployed for a year or longer, while the black African population had the highest incidence of long-term unemployment among all population grounds.
Awareness in government job creating programmes on the rise
The Statistician General said awareness on the government job creating programmes had increased in 2014 when compared to 2011.
“Awareness about the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and other government job creation programmes increased from 42.8 percent to 52 percent in 2014.
“Women are more likely to participate in these programmes, with the share of women among those who participated increasing from 59.3 percent in 2011 to 63.1 percent in 2014,” he said.
He said that in 2011, a larger portion of youth participated (51.1 percent) but by 2014 this had reversed in favour of adults (54.4 percent).
In both 2011 and 2014, participation in the EPWP was dominated by persons with an educational qualification lower than matric (65.5 percent and 69.9 percent).
“In 2014, Eastern Cape accounted for 22.7 percent of those who participated in these programmes, followed By Gauteng (17 percent) and KwaZulu-Natal (14.9 percent).
The Statistician General said in 2014, seven out of ten of those who participated in the EPWP and other government job creation programmes were employed, up from 56.9 percent in 2011.
“Between 2011 and 2014, the proportion of those who participated in these programmes and who were employed in tertiary industries increased from 58.1 percent to 75.1 percent. – RSA SAnews.gov.za
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