Published report

Skills Supply and Demand in South Africa

This report provides a holistic overview of the supply of and demand for skills in South Africa, with the aim of informing future skills policy and supporting an inclusive economic growth path. Through careful analysis, the report attempts to understand the complexities and intricacies surrounding how supply and demand interact and the corresponding implications for reform.

Labour Market Intelligence research programme


This report largely uses data for the Q2 2009–Q2 2019 period from the statistics South Africa (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Surveys and data for the 2011–2017 period from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). It also makes use of other sources, where appropriate, to supplement its analysis. Investigating both the demand for and supply of skills involved an exploration of the state of the economy, the characteristics of the employed and unemployed individuals who make up the labour force, trends in the sectoral and occupational distributions of employment, and trends in the post-school education and training (PSET) system. The interaction between supply and demand provides the basis for identifying signals regarding the nature and extent of the skills imbalances facing South Africa. By understanding these imbalances, it is possible to steer supply, guiding future investment and interventions and, ultimately, ensuring that the PSET system supports an inclusive skills development path.

This publication covers

  • Methodological Issues
  • The South African Economy
  • The South African Labour Force
  • The Demand for Skills
  • Skills Imbalances
  • Key Findings and Recommendations