Quantifying a living wage in Swaziland: A case of the handicraft sector
The Swaziland MDG Report (MDGR, 2015) documents that to improve wellbeing in Swaziland beyond 2015 requires the country to accelerate efforts geared toward creating lucrative employment and decent work for all, including women, the youth, and people living with disabilities. This is pertinent for the Kingdom of Swaziland given that 28.1% of the economically active population was unemployed in 2014 (ILFS, 2014). Others have argued that the unemployment rate is higher in rural areas, where the actual figure is probably more than 40% (Manyatsi et al., 2013).
The handicraft sector has the potential to provide mass employment opportunities. However, undermining handicraft in Swaziland is a lack of appreciation of the potential this sector has toward changing the economic status and livelihoods of the people (Bam, 2014). As a result, the sector is notorious for paying low wages that do not support a decent standard of living, particularly in rural areas. Poor pay or low wages can have adverse impacts on economic growth by depressing per capita consumption.Download PDF