Differentials in unemployment duration across households in South Africa: A two-level modelling approach
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This study aimed to examine the structural changes affecting the duration of unemployment across households in South Africa. It made use of existing datasets from the Labour Force Survey produced by Statistics South Africa, covering a period of six years (2011-2016). Relations among demographic and household variables were explored to determine how they related to unemployment duration. On the basis of the relations identified, a predictive analysis of unemployment duration was attempted using two-level modelling. The results suggest a significant difference in the duration of unemployment, according to the individual socio-demographic characteristics and the household moderating variables. More specifically, the greatest share percentage of both men and women experiencing long-term unemployment were found within the age group 25-34 years. The study also found that the percentage share of Non-White population groups experiencing longer duration of unemployment was more than for the White population group. Another variable found to have great influence on the duration of unemployment was the individual’s previous work experience. Going beyond the individual’s socio-demographic characteristics to consider household variables. It was found that unemployed workers living in households headed by a female are more vulnerable to longer unemployment duration. The study found individuals living in smaller households displaying longer unemployment duration. Also, it was found that individuals living in less endowed households (households where no one or few people were in gainful employment) were more vulnerable to experiencing longer unemployment spells. The study concluded with some recommendations for employment policy and follow-up research.