The total number of jobs reported in the first quarter showed an increase of 56 000 from the previous quarter, bringing the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector to 9 838 000. According to the figures from the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) Survey, formal sector jobs rose year-on-year by 74 000 in the first quarter of 2018 when compared with the same period of 2017.
Job growth surged in the community services industry, which added 67 000 jobs. Construction and manufacturing industries added 12 000 and 9 000 jobs respectively. Moderate gains were also reported in the business services industry with a slight increase of 4 000 jobs in the first quarter.
Job losses were recorded in three of the eight industries surveyed, with the largest decline in the trade industry which shed 26 000 jobs. The mining industry continued on its downward trend for the third consecutive quarter where the latest QES figures indicate 7 000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2018. There was a slight loss of 3 000 jobs in the transport industry.
The total amount of gross earnings paid for the quarter was R633 billion. This is a decrease of R26 billion from the previous quarter.
The decreases in earnings were led by community services industry with R8 billion. This was followed by the trade and manufacturing industries, both recording quarterly decreases of approximately R7 billion. The construction industry showed a decrease of R5 billion, the transport industry, a decrease of R3,5 billion and the electricity industry a decrease of R1 billion. There was also a decrease of R305 million in the mining industry.
Gross earnings paid in the business services industry increased by R6 billion.
There was a year-on-year rise in gross earnings by 1,1% from R626 billion to R633 billion when comparing with the same period last year.
Average monthly earnings were measured at R19 858 in the formal non-agricultural sector of the economy in February 2018. This is a -1,0% decrease when compared to November 2017, and an annual increase of 5,0%.
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