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Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa

David Lam (), Murray Leibbrandt and Cecil Mlatsheni ()
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Cecil Mlatsheni: School of Economics, University of Cape Town

No 22, SALDRU Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Abstract: The problem of high youth unemployment is a global phenomenon. According to an International Labour Office study in 2004, youth (15-24) make up nearly half (47%) of the world's unemployed, 88 million out of 186 million, even though youth are only 25% of the world's working age population. Of the world's 550 million working poor who cannot lift themselves above US $1 per day poverty measure, 150 million are youth. The ILO estimated in 2004 that halving global youth unemployment would increase global GDP by US $2.2 trillion, 4% of global GDP. These statistics lend weight to the notion that youth unemployment is a problem worthy of attention. In addition, one may argue that addressing unemployment in general would also lower poverty levels and add to GDP (World Bank 2006).

Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2008-09
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