Back to top

Underemployment in South Africa

Rochelle Beukes, Tina Fransman, Simba Murozvi and Derek Yu
Publication date
January 2016

With the introduction of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) since 2008, a newly derived variable, namely underemployed, has become available. This variable is derived according to the “time-related” approach (i.e. those who are employed, but would like to work longer hours and are available to work longer hours in the near future). However, underemployment could also be derived according to the “inadequate employment situations” approach (e.g. under-utilisation of skills, over-qualification). There are virtually no in-depth local studies that examine underemployment in South Africa. Hence, this paper investigates the extent of underemployment according to two definitions, before examining whether the characteristics of the underemployed are significantly different from those of the other employed.

Publication PDF
Series title
Working paper 575
Development Southern Africa
JEL classifications