The Labour Market in Post-Apartheid South Africa:A Brief Overview

"The aggregate data suggests that while employment expansion has been recorded since the first majority government, we need to be mindful that in terms of the economically active population and its growth over time, this job performance has been far from adequate. In the lexicon of this document, what this suggests is that the current level and trajectory of economic growth, whilst certainly creating employment at the level expected, has not been high enough in absolute terms to result in employment expansion at the rate yielded by the target growth rate noted above. Put differently, the economy’s low and single-digit growth rates have been consistently unable to act as a generator of a sufficient quantum of employment in the domestic economy. It needs to be remembered though, that there do continue to exist, in addition to the problem of low growth inhibiting labour demand expansion, significant labour supply-side constraints that also inhibit employment. These are manifest in the form of inadequate supply characteristics amongst a large number of the unemployed in the face of what has now been well documented for South Africa as skills-biased employment growth."