J21

Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

The Sectoral Employment Intensity of Growth in South Africa

Concerns have been expressed recently about the inability of the South African economy to provide adequate employment for the increasing number of job seekers. The rate of unemployment remains stubbornly high in spite of vastly improved macroeconomic fundamentals since the 1990s. This paper investigates how the sectoral employment intensity of output growth in the eight non-agricultural sectors of the South African economy has evolved in the period 2000:01-2012:04, with a view to identifying key growth sectors that are employment intensive.

The impact of health on the employment and earnings of young South Africans

This paper estimates the impact of health on employment and earnings among individuals aged 15-39 years in South Africa.  Though one of the richest countries in Africa, South Africa is plagued by substantial disease burden especially from communicable diseases, injuries, maternal and child mortality, and non-communicable diseases. The country also has very high unemployment rates, with the unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years exceeding 50% in 2014 (according to the International Labour Organization definition).

Impact on Health on Labour Force Participation in South Africa

This paper quantifies the impact of health on labour force participation, using South Africa as a case study. This is important given the essential role the labour market plays in economic growth and the potential for poor health to adversely affect labour market outcomes. South Africa has experienced significant disease burden especially due to communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Moreover, conditions like obesity remain a public health concern. Furthermore, the country has witnessed declining labour force participation in recent years.

Happy in the Informal Economy? A Case Study of Well-Being Among Day Labourers in South Africa

Past research provided evidence of the negative effect that individual unemployment can have on subjective well-being. The persistent high levels of unemployment and poverty in South Africa have been well documented. Many people are forced into the informal economy, where they engage in a variety of survivalist activities such as day labouring. As no previous study has been conducted on the well-being of day labourers, the aim of this paper is to investigate the determinants of the well-being of South African day labourers.

Micro-evidence on day labourers and the thickness of labour markets in South Africa

The South African labour market is characterised by sharp segmentation, high unemployment and apparently limited informal sector employment. Recent work has focussed on the importance of the quality of education while others have argued that the rigidity of the labour market constrains employment growth. This paper considers the spatial aspects of the day labour market and argues that the size and proximity of economic activity found in agglomerations ensure a thick labour market that allows for better matching between workers and jobs.

Underemployed women: an analysis of voluntary and involuntary part-time wage employment in South Africa

Using nationally representative household survey data from 1995 to 2006, this paper explores heterogeneity among female part-time wage (salaried) workers in post-apartheid South Africa, specifically distinguishing between individuals who choose to work part-time and part-time workers who report wanting to work longer hours. As in studies of voluntary and involuntary part-time employment in other countries, the findings show that involuntary part-time workers in South Africa are outnumbered by voluntary part-time workers.

Trends in the gender wage gap and gender discrimination among part-time and full-time workers in post-apartheid South Africa

Using nationally representative household survey data from 1995 to 2006, this paper explores the gender wage gap among part-time and full-time salaried workers in post-apartheid South Africa, considering specifically how the magnitude of the gender-wage gap and the factors contributing to this gap have changed over time. The results, which are robust to the imputation of values for missing earnings information, provide evidence of a gender gap in wages among both part-time and full-time workers that persists once measurable differences between men and women are accounted for.

Is there evidence of a wage penalty to female part-time employment in South Africa?

In this paper, we investigate female part-time employment in South Africa. Using household survey data for South Africa from 1995 to 2004, we show that women are over-represented in part-time employment, and that the growth in part-time work has been an important feature of the feminisation of the labour force. In contrast to many studies of part-time work in other countries, however, we find evidence of a significant wage premium to female part-time employment.

Dissecting post-apartheid labour market developments: Decomposing a discrete choice model while dealing with unobservables

The abolition of apartheid should have improved the employment prospects of black South Africans. The reality seems to have been different, with rising unemployment rates. Disentangling the real trends from changes in measurement and sampling design has proved to be difficult. We tackle this issue by means of an new methodology for decomposing changes in a proportion. Our approach is based on a methodology presented by Lemieux for continuous variables. In particular we show how we can construct counterfactual data at the individual level controlling for unobservable effects.

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