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

Author

Listed:
  • Rosa Dias
  • Dorrit Posel

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosa Dias & Dorrit Posel, 2007. "Unemployment, Education and Skills Constraints in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Working Papers 07120, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:07120
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. T. Paul Schultz & Germano Mwabu, 1998. "Labor Unions and the Distribution of Wages and Employment in South Africa," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 680-703, July.
    2. Murray Leibbrandt & Haroon Bhorat, 1999. "Correlates of Vulnerability in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers 99027, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Siv Gustafsson & Adriaan Kalwij & Seble Worku, 2009. "Educational Attainment Differences Between Population Groups In South Africa And The Timing And Number Of Births," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(4), pages 471-487, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa: education; unemployment; skills constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics

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