Public attitudes to work in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): B.Mncwango
KEYWORDS: PUBLIC ATTITUDE, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL ATTITUDES SURVEY (SASAS), WORK
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10010

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The significance of public attitudes for ensuring the effectiveness of national government skills and labour market interventions and policies has been widely recognised. Attitudes serve as significant predictors of individuals' behaviour and can thus provide clues about behaviour related to finding and keeping paid work, as well as about perceptions of commitment to work, skills acquisition and satisfaction at work. It is, therefore, imperative that skills planners have a comprehensive understanding of labour market perceptions. In South Africa, data-driven scientific studies of the public' s attitudes to work, their expectations, preferences and job search behaviours are limited. To address this gap, the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) initiated a unique study with specific, focused questions about social attitudes to the labour market. The underlying assumption of the study is that understanding public attitudes offers insight into the factors that influence decisions about labour market and education participation. The research adds value by providing detailed attitudinal data in order to complement existing labour market macro-data sets. Data were collected from a representative national sample that included the employed, unemployed work seekers and those who are inactive in the labour market. A total of 2 885 South Africans participated in the study. Using selfreported data, 30% could be classified as employed, 37% as unemployed, and 33% as economically inactive. Questions were fielded through the Human Sciences Research Council's (HSRC) South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) of 2013.