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The unemployed in South Africa: Why are so many not counted?

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The unemployed in South Africa: Why are so many not counted?

26th February 2013

By: Econ3x3

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The official rate of unemployment includes only the unemployed who are actively searching for work. However, findings from new data challenge this practice. The ‘searching unemployed’ are no more likely to find employment than the ‘non-searching unemployed’. This casts doubt on the idea that non-searchers are not committed to finding work. Furthermore, many people find jobs through social networks – but this job-finding strategy is not adequately recognised as ‘searching for work’ in official statistical surveys. StatsSA should reconsider how they count the ‘officially’ unemployed.

Written by Dorrit Posel, Daniela Casale and Claire Vermaak, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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