More than half of the population in southern Sudan lives below the poverty line. The high household reliance on cereals makes the population highly vulnerable to crop failure and abnormal price movements. This assessment applies learning from the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa to the South Sudanese context with the aim of supporting more effective, timely and appropriate responses to slow onset recurrent crisis via a pre-crisis market analysis. This study focused on the agricultural labor market system in Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal States. Its findings suggest that the agricultural labor market system is not sufficient to cover the gap in household income even in baseline years, let alone emergency years. The agricultural labor market is fragile, and floods, drought and insecurity all reduce the demand for labor. Given the complexity of the agricultural labor system and the high variability among states, and even counties, there is no simple solution to address the challenges noted. This assessment recommends more detailed research, including an HEA study, as well as the provision of agricultural inputs such as seeds and tools and appropriate food assistance.