The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Labour Market in South Africa

by VASS, J., 2005
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

The structure and functioning of the labour market are key mechanisms for addressing developmental inequities in South Africa. Much of the current analysis on labour market trends does not consider HIV/AIDS, which has a crucial impact on efforts to redress inequities, especially for historically disadvantaged and vulnerable groupings. Vass outlines the main anticipated effects of HIV/AIDS on the size, structure and composition of the labour market, focusing on the demographic and skills effects. She contrasts this with current labour market trends in terms of labour supply and demand in the last seven to ten years. Vass considers current labour market segmentation based on race, sex, age, skill and occupation, as well as the impact on human resources development through education and training and employment equity. The impact on sectors, including small and medium-sized enterprises, supply chains and the informal sector is also considered. The paper concludes with an assessment of the response at an institutional and policy level. Brief comments are made on the nature and limitations of the available empirical data and research. Finally, a gap analysis highlights the need for additional research on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the labour market