As measured by Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the youth (18 – 34-year olds) employment rate for 2019Q1 currently stands at 48,7%.
National employment rates for youth are now below 50%, which as represented on the graph, are the lowest they have been in a 5-year period.
Traditionally, January to March is the quarter with the lowest employment rate due to the ending of seasonal and temporary employment especially in the services sector over the holiday season.
However, for this quarter, the percentage point fall between 2018Q4 and 2019Q1 is bigger than previous years. Harambee data showed this fall too and suggests that these rates are expected to decline in 2019Q2.
Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator remains committed to engaging government, employers and work seekers in collaborative efforts to change the youth employment landscape in South Africa.
*The Harambee employment rate is measured up to 30 April 2019. Data is not drawn from Stats SA data but reflects a sample of youth who are typically living in grant dependent households.
**Youth includes all 18 – 34-year olds
***Note: Harambee’s employment rate is lower, because representatively our sample has traditionally focused on urban youth and more formal opportunities. However our model data collected is shifting to account for the high mobility of youth in and out of urban areas, as well as the changing nature of work.
KEY INSIGHTS FOR
Small interventions can have an outsized impact
Early findings from the study show that when work-seekers are given
a summary report to share with potential employers, their likelihood
of finding work increases by up to 17% and their earnings by up
to 32% compared to a group who didn’t receive the report.
Figure 1: Work-seekers with the report have an advantage over work-seekers without this ‘signal’
Communication abilities matter when looking for work
The study also explores which ‘signals’ employers value the most.
Communication abilities were found to be the most predictive for
employment and earnings. Grit and resilience were also valued.
Figure 2: Employers value communication, grit and resilience highly
HOW CAN THIS HELP YOUNG PEOPLE?
With Youth Month beginning in June in South Africa, what can we do to help young people help themselves in the search for work?
Here are 3 tips for young work-seekers:
- Think about how they can ‘sell’ themselves to an employer. Can a teacher/head of a school, leader of a community organisation or religious group, or a previous employer provide a testimony of their strengths and capabilities?
- Register with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator on harambee.mobi. Harambee can help young people understand what their skills are, and signal those to potential employers.
- Take part in activities that allow them to develop and ultimately signal the attributes that employers value for work.
Stay tuned for the further study results to be shared later this year!