Day labor, informality and vulnerability in South Africa and the United States.

Theodore, Nik, Derick Blaauw, Catherina Schenck, Abel Valenzuela, Christie Schoeman, and Edwin Meléndez. 

International Journal of Manpower 36, no. 6 (2015): 807-823.


The purpose of this paper is to compare conditions in informal day-labor markets in South Africa and the USA to better understand the nature of worker vulnerabilities in this market, as well as the economic conditions that have contributed to the growth of day labor. The conclusion considers interventions that are underway in the two countries to improve conditions in day-labor markets. The paper is based on national surveys of day laborers in South Africa and the USA. A random sample of day laborers seeking work at informal hiring sites was undertaken in each country. The paper presents key findings, compares conditions in South Africa and the USA, and analyzes the relationship between economic change, labor-market dynamics, and worker vulnerability.

Much of what is available in the Library is publicly available and can be accessed through a link on this website. However, most academic journal articles reside beyond a paywall and only the abstracts are included here.