The comparability of the statistics South Africa October household surveys and labour force surveys
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Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has been collecting labour market data with household surveys and in a fairly comparable format since 1993. These datasets have been studied and compared extensively in order to better understand the workings of the South African labour market. Many of these studies compare household surveys of different periods in order to identify trends, but the validity of such trends is conditional on the comparability of the different datasets. Besides, the naïve comparisons of the different datasets have been questioned. Other problems include inconsistencies in questionnaire design, coding errors, changes in the sampling frame, the oversampling of agricultural workers in OHS1995, the oversampling of subsistence agricultural workers in LFS2000a and LFS2000b, as well as the oversampling of informal workers in LFS2001a. Most of these issues have received attention in papers by Burger and Yu (2006), Casale, Muller and Posel (2005), and Wittenberg (2004).