The full, interactive visualisation can be viewed here.

For the third edition of our data@mediahack newsletter we analysed and visualised Stats SA’s unemployment data. Using the Q1 2019 Labour Force Survey, we looked at a range of factors related to unemployment in South Africa, a country that is among the worst in the world for unemployed citizens. According to the latest Stats SA data 27.7% of working age South Africans are classified as unemployed. That’s 6.2 million South Africans.

 

What that number doesn’t immediately reveal is that more than twice the number of unemployed people are not economically active. A full 12.8 million South Africans are classified as not economically active and another 3 million are classified as discouraged job seekers. The not economically active category includes the likes of students and stay-at-home parents, as well as those that live outside the formal economy such as subsistence farmers. What that means is that 22 million of the 38.3 million working age South Africans do not have a job. The other 16.3 million do.

 

 

The other major issue the data reveals is the enormous youth unemployment numbers. According to the data 3.8 million of the officially unemployed South Africans are under the age of 35, the general classification for youth. With a total of 6.2 million unemployed South Africans, that means that more than 60% of those unemployed are youth. This is possibly one of the most important challenges facing South Africa, which is why it was no surprise that President Cyril Ramaphosa made youth unemployment the most important topic in his recent State of the Nation Address.

 

 

Also of concern is how long people have been without work. Of the 6.2 million classified as unemployed is that 4.2 million of them have been without work for more than a year. And half of that again, or 2 million, have been unemployed for more than five years.

The full, interactive visualisation can be viewed here.