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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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek Yu, 2013. "Youth unemployment in South Africa since 2000 revisited," Working Papers 04/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers180
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2013/wp042013/wp-04-2013.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morné Oosthuizen, 2006. "The Post-Apartheid Labour Market: 1995-2004," Working Papers 06103, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    2. Morné Oosthuizen & Haroon Bhorat, 2005. "The Post-Apartheid South African Labour Market," Working Papers 05093, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Cecil Mlatsheni, 2008. "Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 22, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Neil A. Rankin & Gareth Roberts, 2011. "Youth Unemployment, Firm Size And Reservation Wages In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 79(2), pages 128-145, June.
    5. Murray Leibbrandt & Haroon Bhorat, 1999. "Modelling Vulnerability and Low Earnings in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers 99032, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    6. K. Pauw & M. Oosthuizen & C. Van der westhuizen, 2008. "Graduate Unemployment In The Face Of Skills Shortages: A Labour Market Paradox," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(1), pages 45-57, March.
    7. Carlene van der Westhuizen & Sumayya Goga & Morne Oosthuizen, 2007. "Women in the South African Labour Market, 1995 - 2005," Working Papers 07118, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    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 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    9. Justine Burns & Lawrence Edwards & Karl Pauw, 2010. "Wage Subsidies to Combat Unemployment and Poverty: Assessing South Africa’s Options," SALDRU Working Papers 45, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    10. Rees, Albert, 1986. "An Essay on Youth Joblessness," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 613-628, June.
    11. Richard Devey & Caroline Skinner & Imraan Valodia, 2006. "Second Best? Trends and Linkages in the Informal Economy in South Africa," Working Papers 06102, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhorat, Haroon & Goga, Sumayya & Stanwix, Benjamin, 2014. "Skills-biased labour demand and the pursuit of inclusive growth in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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