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Unemployment, Employment and Labour-Force Participation in Khayelitsha/Mitchell's Plain


  • Nicoli Nattrass


This paper provides a rough guide to the labour force in Khayelitsha/Mitchell's Plain with a particular focus on unemployment. The task is partly conceptual (a discussion is provided on statistical norms for measuring unemployment) and partly empirical. Data is drawn from the 2000/2001 Khayelitsha Mitchell's Plain (KMP) survey, which was designed mainly to explore various dimensions of labour market attachment amongst African and coloured people in Cape Town. This survey covered the magisterial district of Mitchell's Plain which includes the African townships of Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Langa; it is not a representative sample of the Cape Town metropolitan area but rather of working class (predominantly African and coloured) Cape Town. In the discussion that follows, reference is made to the questionnaire. The Stata 'do file's (which generated the results) are available on request. Part 1 of the paper outlines the standard labour force approach to labour statistics and points to areas where standard definitions can usefully be extended or supplemented. Part 2 continues the discussion, but with reference to employment and unemployment in KMP. A distinction is drawn between the strict and broad definitions of unemployment and an intermediate definition of unemployment (which includes active job seekers and those seeking jobs exclusively through social networks) is introduced. Part 3 examines the nonlabour- force participants. Part 4 expands the scope of the labour force by adjusting some of the statistical requirements used in earlier approaches. Using this expanded approach, Part 5 continues the exploration of different dimensions of unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicoli Nattrass, 2002. "Unemployment, Employment and Labour-Force Participation in Khayelitsha/Mitchell's Plain," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 012, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:012

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    Cited by:

    1. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    2. Jeremy Magruder & Nicoli Nattrass, 2006. "Exploring Attrition Bias: The Case Of The Khayelitsha Panel Study (2000-2004)," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(4), pages 769-781, December.

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