The current misalignment of labour supply and demand in South Africa constitutes one of the factors that hold back the countrys economic growth. Consequently, efforts have recently been made to estimate future labour demand so that current policies are designed in such a way as to attempt to minimise the skills mismatch. This paper investigates one such study that forecasts formal sector non-agricultural labour demand for the period 1998 to 2003. The paper also looks at the extent to which the forecasts deviate from previous trends and identifies some reasons underlying the varying accuracy of the forecasts across different sectors and occupations. Generally, however, the forecast predicts increased demand for labour in higher-skilled occupations and in the non-government tertiary sector, a continuation of previous labour market trends.
South Africa: non-agricultural labour demand, labour supply and demand
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