A review of labour markets in South Africa: low-waged and informal employment in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2005
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Valodia, L.Lebani, C.Skinner
KEYWORDS: EMPLOYMENT, INFORMAL SECTOR, LABOUR MARKET, WAGES
DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 4205

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Abstract

This paper forms one component of a larger project of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to assess the state of knowledge of the labour market in South Africa, and to identify research gaps. Our paper has two primary objectives: to outline the extent and incidence of low-waged employment in South Africa and to review the literature on informal employment, one important component of low-waged employment. We begin by provided a statistical overview of low-waged employment using the Labour Force Survey of March 2000 and March 2004. Based on these data, we summarise the trends in low-waged employment. In Part two, we focus on informal employment in South Africa, and discuss some of the conceptual and statistical literature and apply it to the South African context. Part three provides trends on informal employment. Part four, using a unique panel drawn from the Labour Force Survey, provides analysis of some of the linkages between informal employment and other labour market statuses, including unemployment. Finally, in Part five, based both on our analysis of low-waged employment and on the review of the informal economy, we offer some suggestions for a research agenda.