2011 UPDATE: High levels of unemployment remain the South African economy’s Achilles heel. At the end of 2011, formal unemployment stood at around a quarter of the population. This is significantly higher than any of its emerging market peers. The crisis in the labour market is most pronounced amongst young South Africans, with just over 70 per cent unable to find employment. Given the precarious position of workers, strike action has often been protracted and costly to the economy, peaking in 2010 with an extended public sector strike that amounted to about 20 million working days lost.