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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The South African Journal of Economics
Title The continued feminisation of the labour force in South Africa: An analysis of recent data and trends
Volume 70
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Page numbers 156-184
This paper forms part of a larger study on women’s participation in the labour market in South Africa. We begin here by providing a descriptive analysis of recent trends in the labour force, and also suggest some possible reasons for the increase in female labour supply. In the first half of this paper we briefly sketch changes in women’s labour force participation before 1995 in South Africa. The focus of the discussion, however, is on the data provided by the 1995 and 1999 national October Household Surveys. We seek both to describe recent trends and to evaluate the quality of the data that inform this description.

The second half of the paper considers why more women are entering the labour market. The feminisation 158 of unemployment, and the relatively smaller increase in the demand for female labour in the formal sector, would seem to indicate that a greater number of women are looking for employment principally because they are being pushed, rather than pulled, into the labour market. In this section we describe correlates of women’s increased labour supply, looking particularly at changes in education, women’s marital status and household composition

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