We analyse trends in employment, unemployment and labour force participation by simple graphical techniques, using all the October Household Surveys and the September Labour Force Surveys. We show that African male employment in 1995 seems high, when compared to all the other surveys. Furthermore much of the increase in African female labour force participation is concentrated in the period 1998 to 2000, which suggests that measurement and sampling changes may be partially responsible for the trend. We track cohorts of individuals over the eleven years for which we have data. We show that young people are leaving school earlier, while being better educated than their elders. They are not, however, being absorbed into employment at a faster rate. This has led to a spike in youth unemployment.