Evaluating the determinants of the perceptions of underemployment among young university graduates: A South African University case

Precious Mncayi, Daniel Francois Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a wave of significant changes in labour markets worldwide, which has seen the pace of secure and stable employment decline significantly. South Africa has not been saved from this wave of change. Besides the country’s high unemployment rate, both at the national level and among the youth by global standards, non-standard employment such as casual and part-time work has been rising. Simultaneously, advanced education has additionally demonstrated no guarantee of employment. Rising labour market instability has therefore necessitated exploring alternative measures of labour underutilisation over and above the typical measures of unemployment. This is a critical study, particularly in South Africa, where youth’s extreme lack of employment opportunities is likely to push them towards non-standard forms of employment. Hence the primary objective of the study was to analyse underemployment among young university graduates in South Africa. The study followed a quantitative research approach that entailed primary data collection through a survey. Firstly, descriptive statistics of the frequency distribution for discrete data. Secondly, an ordinary least squares regression model was employed where three different types of regressions were used to analyse the determinants of the three types of underemployment. The main findings show race and marital status as significant factors determining underemployment status. The rest of the results are discussed, and conclusions and recommendations are drawn to show how dynamic youth labour markets are in developing countries. The paper looks at associations and makes no causality claims.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2054126
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • South Africa
  • Subjective Underemployment
  • Underemployment
  • graduate underemployment
  • university graduates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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