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WP 03/082 - The Post-Apartheid Challenge: Labour Demand Trends in the South African Labour Market, 1995 - 1999

Author: 
Haroon Bhorat

Date of Publication: 
August 2003

Abstract: 
The paper attempts to provide a descriptive overview of absolute and relative shifts in labour demand in the South African economy over the post-apartheid period, 1995-1999. The paper debunks the myth that the domestic economy is characterised by ‘jobless growth’ in this period. However, it does reveal that the rate of job creation has been far below the growth of the labour force, yielding a relatively poor employment performance for the South African economy. In particular, the analysis shows that the economy is a poor creator of low-end jobs. The second segment of the paper attempts to ascribe, using an established labour demand decomposition methodology, reasons for these labour demand shifts. It is clear that the adoption of new technologies, relative to structural changes in the economy, have remained the dominant determinant of the economys employment trajectory. One key exogenous factor though, has impacted on employment changes in this period namely the process of intensive process of public sector restructuring.

Download Working Paper: DPRU WP 03/082