CDE Covid19 series publication

  • Youth unemployment was identified as a national priority by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2020 SONA. Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic is sure to have worsened this crisis.
  • There are 6.5 million people between the ages of 15 and 34 who would take a job if offered one – 52% of the workforce in that age group. Among the very young (15 to 24 years), the rate is even higher: 70% of them are unemployed.
  • We need to think very hard about what to do to offset the worst of the pandemic’s effects on young workers, as well as what needs to be done to secure a quick recovery that allows for greater youth involvement in the economy.
  • If South Africa adopts a package of realistic policies, backed by political will and astute political management, then significant progress could be made in building a faster-growing, more labour-intensive post-pandemic economy.