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Youth unemployment in South Africa since 2000 revisited

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  • Derek Yu

    ()
    (Departments of Economics, Universities of Stellenbosch and Western Cape)

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Abstract

One of the most pressing socio-economic problems of the South African economy is high youth unemployment. Recent studies only briefly examined how the youths fared since the transition by comparing the 1995 October Household Survey (OHS) with a Labour Force Survey (LFS), and hardly investigated whether the discouraged workseekers are different from the unemployed. Moreover, a new labour market status derivation methodology has been adopted since the inception of Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) in 2008. Although the unemployed in QLFSs are derived similarly as in OHSs and LFSs, the discouraged workseekers are distinguished very differently. This paper applies the QLFS methodology with minor revisions on all LFSs to derive comparable youth labour market trends since 2000, before re-examining the extent of youth unemployment. The characteristics of discouraged workseekers and narrow unemployed are then compared, before investigating whether different policies are needed to boost youth employment in each group.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2013/wp042013/wp-04-2013.pdf
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Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04/2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers180

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Keywords: Youths; employment; unemployment; discouraged workseekers; wage subsidy; labour market trends South Africa;

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  1. Morné Oosthuizen & Haroon Bhorat, 2005. "The Post-Apartheid South African Labour Market," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 05093, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  2. Murray Leibbrandt & Haroon Bhorat, 1999. "Modelling Vulnerability and Low Earnings in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 99032, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  3. Rankin, Neil A. & Roberts, Gareth A., 2010. "Youth unemployment, firm size and reservation wages in South Africa," MPRA Paper 24027, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Kalie Pauw & Morné Oosthuizen & Carlene van der Westhuizen, 2006. "Graduate Unemployment in the Face of Skills Shortages: A Labour Market Paradox," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 06114, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  5. Justine Burns & Lawrence Edwards & Karl Pauw, 2010. "Wage Subsidies to Combat Unemployment and Poverty: Assessing South Africa’s Options," SALDRU Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 45, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Rees, Albert, 1986. "An Essay on Youth Joblessness," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 613-28, June.
  7. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Cecil Mlatsheni, 2008. "Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 22, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  8. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  9. Morné Oosthuizen, 2006. "The Post-Apartheid Labour Market: 1995-2004," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 06103, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  10. Carlene van der Westhuizen & Sumayya Goga & Morne Oosthuizen, 2007. "Women in the South African Labour Market, 1995 - 2005," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 07118, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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