South Africa: Highly Educated Millennials Fare Poorly in Job Market Compared to Predecessors


Millennials were touted as the most educated South African generation in a recent StatsSA release, but of the Millennials who had tertiary qualifications, a higher percentage were unemployed compared to Generation X.

Fewer tertiary-educated Millennials in South Africa are employed compared to their counterparts from the previous generation, according to the Education and Labour Market statistics for 2018, released by StatsSA on 25 February 2020.

The report compares educational participation and attainment, the gender gap in education, and labour market participation of three generations in South Africa between 2002 and 2018: Generation X (born between 1960 and 1979), Millennials (born between 1980 and 1999) and Born-Frees (born after 1994).

The statistics showed that compared to Generation X, close to 10% of Millennials with tertiary education were unemployed as opposed to almost 6% of Gen-Xers - the stat compared both groups when they were aged 23 to 38.

Millennials were the most highly educated group of the three, with more Millennial females holding tertiary qualifications. The Born-Free generation was too young to compare statistics on tertiary education and employment.

The report outlines that Millennials stepped into less favourable economic times than Gen-Xers.

"Unlike Generation X individuals, Millennials in their 20s and...

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