Graduate Unemployment in South Africa – a Much Exaggerated Problem

A recent study based on research by ReSEP members, Professor Servaas van der Berg and Hendrik van Broekhuizen furthers the consensus against the myth of high graduate unemployment in South Africa. The research was commissioned by the Centre for Development and Enterprise in an attempt to better understand the issue of graduate unemployment following media reports based on figures from Adcorp’s Employment Indices.

In stark contrast to Adcorp’s figures, the study found that less than 5% of the 1-million university graduates in the South African workforce were unemployed. The study furthermore reveals that White students constitute an ever-decreasing share of university graduates, with black graduates accounting for half of all graduates in the workforce by 2011. Based on these findings, the CDE suggests that barriers to the immigration of skilled workers should be lifted, given the high demand for skilled workers in the South African labour market.

The CDE study and the original research on which it was based also formed the basis for a number of pieces published in the media in April 2013.  These include a Financial Mail article on the 4th of April 2013, a media release by FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George, on the 11th of April 2013, a Business Day article on the 12th of April 2013, and a City Press article on the 14th of April 2013.