Working Paper

Determinants of Unemployment and Labour-Market Transitions for Youth in Botswana

Africa has a youthful population and Botswana is no exception. As a result, Botswana suffers from high youth unemployment problems. Hence, this paper seeks to empirically investigate how the socioeconomic characteristics of the youth of Gabane village in Botswana influence their transitions among the three labour market positions, being state of employed, unemployed and seeking for work, and being out of the labour market between 2016 and 2017 for similar periods. The extent of transitions is measured in terms of the Markov transition probabilities of the youth, followed by multiple regression analysis using the multinomial logit model. The data was collected using Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) from all households in Gabane Village. This dataset provides a great opportunity that allows investigation of the factors influencing the transitions of people in the cross section of the population and provide significant policy proposal for consideration. Findings from the study indicate that the individual characteristics of the Gabane youth play a role in determining their transition probabilities across the labour market outcomes. Notably, being male versus being a female increases the relative probability of being employed or moving from the unemployment to employment state; the relative probability of moving from unemployment to employment increases with the age of the youth. The results also indicate that, despite the low-level of participation of youth in government programmes, that, participation in government programmes versus nonparticipation reduces the likelihood of being unemployed and education had no effect on the transition from unemployment to employment – that it is not statistically significantly different from zero. The study resulted in the following policy recommendations : There is need to reduce or eliminate obstacles that prevent the youth from participating in government programmes in large numbers and to provide education and training that meet the needs of industry. Policymakers need to require training institutions to involve industry so as to design education and training programmes that will provide the youth with the skills needed in the labour market.