South Africa’s Unemployment Puzzle

2017-04-15T14:27:15-04:00April 4, 2011|

The big blemish on South Africa’s otherwise strong economic performance since the mid-1990s is stubbornly high unemployment. Of course this is an important exception, especially as it has exacerbated income inequality. Unemployment in South Africa was already very high before the crisis, but the enormous job losses during 2008-09 made the already dire situation much worse. It now stands at some 24 percent—more than double the unemployment rate in the United States—and youth unemployment is phenomenally higher still at some 50 percent. Reducing unemployment is the foremost economic challenge facing South Africa. Here’s my take on what is needed.