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Youth unemployment rate at 36.1%

Statistics South Africa says the rate has worsened by 3.4 percent since 2008.

A scene from the documentary 'Beg to Differ' by John Warner shows young and old alike on the streets of Somerset West. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - A new employment survey compiled by Statistics South Africa has shown a 0.1 percent improvement since 2013, but a 3.4 percent overall drop since 2008.

The report shows youth unemployment has risen to just over 36 percent since 2008, with Limpopo the only province to see a decrease in that period.

The highest levels of youth unemployment are in the Free State, with nearly half of the province's 15 to 34-year-olds unemployed.

The figures also show the youth unemployment rate is 20 percent higher than the unemployment figures for adults over 34.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla says the discrepancy is not unexpected.

"In common with countries across the globe, the youth face particular challenges in gaining employment in the labour market."

But he says the number doesn't correlate with educational improvements, with better skills development failing to lead to better job figures.

"This in part reflects structural weaknesses in the labour market due to a mismatch between skills and available jobs."

At the same time, he says there are major differences along racial lines.

"That high unemployment is amongst blacks and coloureds and less so amongst Indians and whites,with the unemployment rate for white and Indian youths at only nine percent."

_ See the full report here._

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