June 2013

IZA DP No. 7467: Youth Employment in Africa: New Evidence and Policies from Swaziland

published in: Disadvantaged Workers: Empirical Evidence and Labour Policies, M. A. Malo and D. Sciulli (eds.), AIEL Series in Labour Economics, Springer, 2014

Drawing on the 2007 and 2010 Swaziland Labor Force Surveys, this paper provides first systematic evidence on recent youth employment challenges in Swaziland, a small, land-locked, middle-income country with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Africa. The paper first documents the various labor market disadvantages faced by the Swazi youth, such as high unemployment and discouragement, and how they changed from 2007 to 2010. A multinomial logit regression analysis is then carried out to analyze the socio-economic drivers of the unfavorable youth labor market outcomes on the supply side. Since many of the factors that can unlock the employment potential of the Swazi youth are on the demand side of the labor market, the paper examines the barriers to job creation and youth entrepreneurship. It concludes with experiences of other countries that could inform design of more effective interventions for youth employment in Swaziland.