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Job search and the measurement of unemployment in South Africa

Dorrit Posel, Daniela Casale and Claire VermaakNovember 01, 2013

We interrogate the distinction between searching and non-searching unemployment in South Africa using data from the first national panel survey that tracks the individual. In particular, we test whether the non-searching unemployed display a weaker commitment to the labour market than the searching unemployed; and we investigate what counts as search activity. We find that over the panel, the search status of the unemployed does not predict their subsequent employment status, a result which is robust also for sub-samples that vary by age cohort, gender and location.