Increasing levels of youth unemployment and learners’ poor performance at school have led to claims that the matric certificate no longer has much value in the labour market. However, the evidence does not support this claim. While the labour market conditions facing secondary school graduates have indeed worsened with time, the value of a matric certificate relative to that of grade 10 and 11 has remained positive both in terms of earnings and the likelihood of finding employment.
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Written by Clare Hofmeyr, Researcher, SALDRU, University of Cape Town; Nicola Branson, Post-doctoral fellow, SALDRU, University of Cape Town; and Murray Leibbrandt, Professor, School of Economics and Director: SALDRU, University of Cape Town
This article was first published on the Econ3x3 website – Accessible policy-relevant research and expert commentaries on unemployment and employment, income distribution and inclusive growth in South Africa.