As the global economy battles with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate has spiked to an all-time high, even among developed economies.
The youth population is the hardest hit among countries with high unemployment rates.
A recent Index shows that South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, with 52.8% of its youth population being unemployed.
The country is followed by Greece at 36.8%, Spain at 34.9%, Nigeria at 33.1%, and Italy at 52.5%. Youth unemployment refers to those aged between 15-25 without employment.
South Africa has witnessed plummeting GDP, which fell by 16% in 2022, apart from a looming economic recession. The country has recorded a high unemployment rate caused by the drought of skilled professionals due to an increased student drop rate.
Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, also faces a similar situation. The country’s statistics body, the National Bureau of Statistics, says Nigerian youths are some of the worst affected by unemployment, with about 13.9 million unemployed young people.
Apart from lacking educational qualifications and skills needed for the labor market, Nigeria has witnessed an economic slump, an unequal growth rate, an unmotivated youth populace, and gender imbalance.
Young Nigerians who the absence of gainful employment has disillusioned have reportedly taken to crime, especially cybercrime.
Experts have said the absence of jobs in the country is the reason for the high crime rate in Nigeria. In another report by Statista, South Africa has seen about a 30% rise in general unemployment among its citizens.
Analysts believe that high youth unemployment in any country is a ticking time bomb as they are prone to crime and other social vices.
Augustine Anibogu, an economist and social commentator, said in a chat with Legit.ng that Nigeria should rise and tame the high youth unemployment in the country.
“The recent crime wave in Nigeria is nothing but the fallout of high unemployment among youth. It is a ticking time bomb that is still unraveling and could be tamed by creating jobs and soft skills for them,” Anibogu stated.
Top 10 countries with high youth unemployment
South Africa: 52%
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