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Unemployment, Education and Skills Constraints in Post-Apartheid South Africa

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  • Rosa Dias
  • Dorrit Posel

    ()
    (Division of Economics,University of KwaZulu-Natal)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the relationship between education and unemployment in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and probes the argument that employment growth has been inhibited particularly by skills constraints. We use probit regression analysis to show that higher education protected against unemployment in both 1995 and 2003, and that overall, the relative benefits to tertiary education rose over the period. We show also that these aggregate trends mask substantial variation among race groups and within race groups, among men and women. However, after taking into account changes in the survey instruments used to measure employment, we find only modest evidence of skills-intensive employment growth. Rather, the increase in formally qualified labour was considerably larger than the increase in demand for skilled and semi-skilled labour over the period, and so unemployment rates even among graduates increased over the period.

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    File URL: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/36/DPRU%20WP07-120.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit in its series Working Papers with number 07120.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, March 2007, pages 1-38
    Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:07120

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    Related research

    Keywords: South Africa: education; unemployment; skills constraints;

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    1. Schultz, T.P. & Mwabu, G., 1997. "Labor Unions and the Distribution of Wages and Employment in South Africa," Papers 776, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    2. Paul Cichello & Gary Fields & Murray Leibbrandt, 2003. "Earnings and Employment Dynamics for Africans in Post-apartheid South Africa: A Panel Study of KwaZulu-Natal," Working Papers 03077, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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