There isn’t one labour market

I’ve heard it said (of the US) that there is no national property market, but rather than local property markets are relatively independent of each other. I guess this was more true before 2007 than it is today.

Property in one area is a weak substitute for another property in a nearby area, and an awful substitute for property far away.  Supply and demand is determined at least partially independently in each area.

I’m suggesting that in South Africa, we don’t have a single labour market. We have several different labour markets, with fairly independent supply and demand for labour in each, and with each labour in each market being a limited subtitute for labour in neighbourhood markets and with limited portability between markets.

Supply and Demand for Labour
Supply and Demand for Labour (2007 Census data)

Continue reading “There isn’t one labour market”