This paper has developed a three-sector general equilibrium framework that explains unemployment of both skilled and unskilled labour. Unemployment of unskilled labour is of the Harris-Todaro (1970) type while unemployment of skilled labour is caused due to the validity of the FWH in the high-skill sector. There are two types of capital one of which is specific to the primary export sector while the other moves freely among the different sectors. Inflows of foreign capital of either type unambiguously improve the economic conditions of the unskilled working class. However, the effects on the skilled-unskilled wage inequality and the extent of unemployment of both types of labour crucially hinge on the properties implied by the efficiency function of the skilled workers. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.