Exploring Relationships between Education Level and Unemployment





Training, Skills, skill attainment, youth, joblessness, South Africa


Purpose: Unemployment has been a subject for numerous studies and recent debates in South Africa and beyond. This paper explores the relationship between education level and unemployment among the youth in four municipalities in O.R Tambo District (ORTDM), Eastern Cape, South Africa. The theory of human capital provided the theoretical underpinning of the connection between education level and unemployment, and also the theory was used to interpret the findings. It is assumed that by conducting this investigation, an important contribution is made to theoretical developments in the education and jobs sectors literature and policy in South Africa. Research methods: The study participants were selected using the systematic random sampling since the study employed a quantitative research paradigm. The cross-sectional survey design was implemented. The data consisted of 120 self-completed survey questionnaires from the studied employable young people. The crosstabulation, correlation, chi-suqare data analyses methods were used while the multiple regression model developed was used to test the relationships. Findings: From the analyses, relationships were established such that educational level was found to positively relate to unemployment and was also found to have the highest effect on unemployment. Furthermore, result show negative correlation between economic status and education qualification, while it was positively correlated to unemployment. Lastly, a weak linear relationship exists between level of education and economic status. Implications for research and practice: The findings provide an opportunity for education policy makers to collaborate with the government(s) to develop strategies that favour employment. The results mean that a recurring production of education and training into the labour market is not accompanied by a reduction in unemployment. Future studies may investigate other issues responsible for increasing unemployment in the country despite economic improvement as well as the moderating role of race.


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Author Biographies

Grabe Mpendulo, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

Eric E. Mang’unyi, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa


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How to Cite

Mpendulo, G., & Mang’unyi, E. E. (2018). Exploring Relationships between Education Level and Unemployment. Journal of Social Sciences (COES&Amp;RJ-JSS), 7(2), 86–102. https://doi.org/10.25255/jss.2018.