Unemployment rate among South African youth increased from 32.7 percent to 36.1 percent from 2008 to 2014, according to data released on Thursday.
In the post recessionary period, the unemployment rate has been consistently higher among youth than among adults by more than 20 percentage points, Statistics South Africa said in a report which examines in detail various aspects of the situation faced by youth aged 15 to 34 in the South African labor market.
The report was based on the first quarter results of the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS) each year over the period from 2008 to 2014.
Young people accounted for 52 to 64 percent of the working age population but are under-represented in employment, accounting for only 42 to 49 percent of the employed, the bureau said.
"Over the period 2008 to 2014, in every province, there was a decline in the share of youth in the working-age population as well as in employment," said the bureau, adding young people face a series of challenges.
Many young people have not worked before and the incidence of long-term unemployment among the youth is very high, said the report.
In 2014, close to two thirds of young people were unemployed for a year or longer, while young people accounted for 90 percent of those who are unemployed and have never worked before.
The report noted that 26.6 percent of young people (15 to 34 years) resided in households in which no one was employed.
The problem is acute for both young men and women; the share of male youth who lived in households in which no one was employed rose from 46.5 percent in 2008 to 49.3 percent in 2014.
According to the report, the unemployment rate decreases with age, with unemployment rates the highest among 15-19 year olds.
The absorption rate is highest among those aged 25 to 29 years and 30 to 34 years, and lowest among those in the youngest age group, said the report.