Migration and Unemployment in South Africa: when Motivation Surpasses the Theory

2017-06-06T02:22:54Z (GMT) by Cornwell, Katy Inder, Brett A.
This paper looks at the connection between internal migration and unemployment in South Africa. We examine whether rural-urban migrants are more likely to be unemployed, in informal sector employment or underemployed than non-migrants. We build on standard economic theory to predict that rates of unemployment and of participation in the informal sector ought to be much higher for migrants than for non-migrants. The empirical evidence we present, based on the 1993 and 1994 October Household Surveys, provides only some support for this theory. Results suggest that compared to job seeking non-migrants, recent migrants do well at finding formal employment, and are much less likely to be unemployed.