Less than half of working-age people in South Africa are employed, with black people still bearing most of the brunt of unemployment, the South African Institute for Race Relations latest report found.

There were 35 955 000 people of working age in the country this year. Of that 15 657 000, or less than half were employed.

Stats SA defines people of working age as 15 to 64.

The report found the burden of unemployment rested mainly on black people with the number of unemployed black people having increased by 174.2 percent since 1994.

Stats SA’s Mid-year population report revealed about 43 million people, or 80 percent of the population was black.

There were about 4,7 million coloured people, 1.3 million Indian/Asian people and 4,5 million white people.

Of the black working-age population, 11 625 000 people were employed.

About 1,6 million coloured people were employed, 488 000 Indian/Asian and 1,9 million white people were employed.

This findings used employment figures from Stats SA, mainly from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which measures both formal and informal employment. The formal, non-agricultural employment data is obtained from the Quarterly Employment Statistics survey, which collects data from VAT registered businesses.

South African Institute for Race Relations chief executive Frans Cronjé said: “The report makes it clear that market-friendly economic reforms and labour market deregulation will be necessary to price poor people into jobs. Growing the economy through more investment leads to an increase in the number of jobs. It is an obvious formulae for success but one which many South African policy makers and activists on the left seem loathe to accept.”

Some of the other findings of the report include that while there has been job growth since 1994, this was outpaced by increases in unemployment.

Ntshalintshali said South Africa needed to create more jobs which would see populations flourishing. — Cape Times.

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