• Stats SA

28 000 jobs lost in SA formal sector third quarter of 2019

Formal sector employment decreased by 28 000 in September 2019, with 11 000 full-time and 17 000 part-time jobs shed during the quarter.

The September 2019 Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey showed that an estimated 10 142 000 people were employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy, which is down by 28 000 from 10 170 000 in the previous quarter.

The quarterly decrease in total employment was driven by job losses in construction (-12 000); manufacturing (-12 000); community services (-11 000); business services (-9 000); and transport (-1 000). The electricity and mining industries were unchanged in September.

The only industry to record a quarterly increase was trade, up by 17 000 jobs.

Total employment increased by 78 000 between September 2018 and September 2019, with 45 000 full-time and 33 000 part-time jobs added. This increase was largely due to job increases in community services (54 000); trade (53 000); business services (28 000); and mining (6 000).

Annual job losses were reported by construction (-37 000); manufacturing (-22 000); electricity (-3 000); and transport (-1 000).

Total earnings paid to employees amounted to R711,2 billion in September 2019, up from R699,5 billion in June 2019, a quarterly increase of 1,7%.

During the quarter ending September 2019, basic salary payments increased by 1,4% and bonus and overtime payments increased by 4,2%.

Quarter-on-quarter increases in gross earnings were led by the business services industry with R6,5 billion, community industry with R3,8 billion, mining industry with R2,3 billion, manufacturing industry with R926 million, trade industry with R628 million, and electricity industry with R130 million. Decreases in gross earnings were reported in the transport and construction industries with R1,7 billion and R727 million, respectively.

Year-on-year, total gross earnings increased by 3,8% with basic salaries increasing by 4,0% and bonus and overtime payments increasing by 2,0%.

Average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector rose by 2,6% from May 2019 to August 2019; the year-on-year increase was 3,7%.


For more information on employment and earnings, download the full report here.

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