South Africa has a large young population. As of 2021, of the almost 60 million South Africans, 26.7 million were aged 24 years and younger. The job market should eventually absorb these youth. Although unemployment rates were high among adults of both genders, the main driver of unemployment in the country was the extremely high level of unemployment among youth. The share of unemployed youth in the labor force reached an astounding 60 percent in 2020. Also, the share of economically active population aged 15-24 years has been dropping significantly since 2000. In that year, the youth labor force participation rate was 37 percent, compared to 21 percent in 2020.
Higher unemployment among women and lower-educated people
Most employed South Africans work 40 to 45 hours a week. As of the first quarter of 2022, over 8.1 million employees were working 40-45 hours a week, while almost 4.1 million worked over 45 hours a week. In March 2022, South Africa's Minister of Employment and Labor, Thusla Nxesi, announced a new minimum wage. The minimum salary was raised from 21.69 South African rands per hour to 23.19 South African rands per hour. In contrast, professionals with a job in executive management and change management were the highest paid in the country.
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