Labour Market Studies

Low Wage Work in South Africa

by ALTMAN, M, 2006
Paper presented to IZA/World Bank Conference on Employment and Development, Pariser Platz 3, Berlin, Germany 25-27 May 2006

Altman examines the emerging character of the ‘working poor’ in South Africa and the implications for economic policy. The theme is particularly relevant for economies whose cost structures are not well aligned with promoting meaningful economic participation. The paper starts by setting the unemployment scene, showing that low-paid work is a greater burden if the…


The Decent Work Agenda in Southern Africa: Evidence and Challenges

by NCUBE, M., 2007
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

The decent work agenda initiated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999 seeks to promote employment and productive work, workers’ rights, social protection and social dialogue. Ncube examines the experiences of nine southern African countries in terms of the decent work agenda, focusing on employment and productive work. The paper notes a lack of…


An overview of Industrial Policy and its Implications for HRD

by ALTMAN, M., MAYER. M., , 2003
HRD Review 2003, Education, Employment and Skills in South Africa; Human Sciences Research Council Press. Chapter 3, pp 64-85

Altman and Mayer analyse the impact of South Africa’s industrial policy on the demand for labour. They show that industrial development has historically been driven by minerals extraction and import substitution, overlain by apartheid policies that excluded the majority of the population from the economy. This entrenched a growth path characterised by capital-intensive production processes,…


Quantifying the Outsourcing of Jobs from Manufacturing to Services

by TREGENNA, F. , 2008
South African Journal of Economics Vol. 76:S2 August 2008

There has been debate internationally and in South Africa about the extent to which a relative decline in manufacturing employment and rise in services employment can be accounted for by intersectoral outsourcing of jobs in the domestic economy. This article develops a new methodology for testing for and quantifying outsourcing at an economy-wide level. This…