There are different forms of work, these include work as employment (work to generate income), unpaid work which includes volunteer work and domestic work for own final household consumption. Statistics South Africa measures all forms of work including work which should be abolished like child labour.
Work as employment is measured from two sources, establishment surveys and household based surveys. The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is establishment based while The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) is a household based survey. The two sources differ in coverage, scope, unit of measurement and method of collection. Because of these differences, the two sources yield different figures. However, the two sources should be regarded as complementary rather than competitive.
Each source has advantages and limitations in terms of statistics yielded. The QES covers non-agricultural formal sector employment while the QLFS covers total employment in all industries and sectors. The QLFS can also provide information on demographic characteristics of the labour force (employment and unemployment) which the QES cannot provide.
There has been a shift in the last twenty years from low-skilled to semi-skilled and skilled work within the South African workforce. This was one of the results presented by the Statistician-General Pali Lehohla on the 15th September at a media event on youth unemployment. Comparisons of data from the 1994 October Household Survey and read more »