Unemployment in the SADC Region
The objective of this study is to estimate the determinants of unemployment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region using annual data from 2000 to 2016. Given the characteristic of the data, the study adopts Fixed Effect (FE) estimation technique. For further analysis, the study also estimated the ARDL panel model to capture persistence effect of unemployment in the region. The FE results reveals that real GDP, foreign direct investment, consumer price index, credit to the private sector and interest rate are negatively related to unemployment. While trade openness, labour productivity and population have a positive sign. The results estimated with ARDL model are not very different from those of FE model, but we obtained a noticeably smaller estimates for ARDL model. Variables which have negative association with unemployment suggest that they are likely to reduce unemployment. Therefore, such indicators may be of interest to policy makers when formulating unemployment reduction strategies. In terms of policy advise, the study recommends the government of SADC member states to encourage the education system that can equip leaners with entrepreneurial skills and in-job practical skills, in order to promote high success rate of SMMEs as well as to provide skills needed in the labour market. It also recommended enforcement of free trade of goods and services in the region as a means of making the industrial sector an engine of economic growth in order to create much needed employment.