The employment history of day labourers in South Africa and the income they earn - A case study of day labourers in Pretoria

PF Blaauw, H Louw, R Schenck


 Formal sector unemployment forces many workers to venture into the informal sectorThe activities of day labourers are no exception.  The aim of this paper is to address the lack of research on informal labour markets by focusing on the day labourers in Pretoria as a case study and to investigate the employment history of and income earned by day labourers in Pretoria. 

Day labourers involved in this study were mainly male, young, low skilled, earning low and uncertain levels of income and working under harsh conditions.  A significant portion of day labourers in Pretoria previously held formal sector occupations.  Long spells of unemployment can make it difficult for day labourers to return to the formal sector.  Many activities in the informal sector can never provide a permanent solution to unemployment. 

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Submitted: 10 May 2014
Published: 22 May 2014

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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences    |    ISSN: 1015-8812 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2222-3436 (ONLINE)