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Giving Up Job Search During a Recession: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the South African Labour Market

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  • Verick, Sher

    () (ILO International Labour Organization)

Abstract

The global financial crisis deeply impacted the South African labour market resulting in the shedding of almost 1 million jobs over 2009 and 2010. Reflecting longer term structural problems, this employment loss translated into a much larger rise in the number of discouraged individuals rather than those defined as 'narrowly' unemployed. Drawing on estimates using the micro-data, this paper shows that this state of non-searching unemployment or discouragement has increased more during the recent crisis for uneducated African males. Moreover, individuals who have given up job search during the recession are statistically different than those who continue searching. At the same time, searching is a transitory state for some of the jobless with considerable movements between the two categories of unemployment. These findings from the first post-Apartheid recession underscore the importance in the South African context of analysing a broad measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers. In response to these labour market challenges, the government should further reduce barriers to job search through such measures as training for the low-skilled and transport subsidies, along with other interventions that boost demand and job creation in rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Verick, Sher, 2011. "Giving Up Job Search During a Recession: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the South African Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
    2. Victoria Hosegood & Anne Case & Cally Ardington, 2009. "Labor Supply Responses to Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 22-48, January.
    3. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1998. "Unemployment, discouraged workers and female labour supply," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 103-131, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elish Kelly & Seamus McGuinness & Philip J O’connell & David Haugh & Alberto GonzÁlez Pandiella, 2014. "Transitions In and Out of Unemployment among Young People in the Irish Recession," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(4), pages 616-634, December.
    2. Simon Franklin, 2015. "Location, search costs and youth unemployment: A randomized trial of transport subsidies in Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Domonkos Tomáš & Ostrihoň Filip & Šikulová Ivana & Širaňová Mária, 2017. "Analysing the Relevance of the MIP Scoreboard's Indicators," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 239(1), pages 32-52, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    discouraged workers; unemployment; global financial crisis; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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