SA’s formal employment numbers decline

The number of employees in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy decreased from an estimated 8 945 000 employees in March 2015 to an estimated 8 944 000 employees in June 2015, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday.

The June 2015 Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey showed that an estimated 8 944 000 persons were employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy. This reflected a quarterly drop of 1 000 employees between March 2015 and June 2015 and an annual decrease of 161 000 employees (-1,8%) between June 2014 and June 2015.

The quarterly drop was mainly due to decreases in employment reported by the manufacturing industry (-7 000 or -0,6%), the transport industry (-4 000 or -0.9%), the business services industry (-3 000 or -0,2%) and the construction industry (-2 000 or -0,4%).

Increases were reported by the trade industry (8 000 or 0,4%) and community services industry (7 000 or 0,3%). The mining and quarrying industry and electricity industry remained unchanged.

Gross earnings paid to employees rose by R3 772-million (0,8%) from R476 165-million in March 2015 to R479 937-million in June 2015. The hike was mainly due to increases in the community services, transport, trade, construction, manufacturing, mining and quarrying and electricity industries.

Year-on-year, gross earnings rose by R32 673-million (7,3%).

There was a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1,8% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector from R16 506 in February 2015 to R16 796 in May 2015.

On an annual basis, average monthly earnings paid to employees rose by 6,6% from R15 762 in May 2014 to R16 796 in May 2015.

In reaction to the latest statistics, DA shadow minister of finance David Maynier says the fact that that 161 000 formal sector jobs were lost in the past year reinforces the reality of a major jobs crisis in South Africa.

“We can only stop the job shedding if we reform the labour market which is shutting millions of people out of jobs in South Africa,” he says.

Source: Fin24

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