Employment in South Africa has decreased by 48 000 jobs to 9.644 million in the formal non-agricultural sector in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter of 9.692 million in December 2016.
Releasing the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) for the first quarter of 2017 in Pretoria on Tuesday, Statistician-General of South Africa, Dr Pali Lehohla, said the main contributors were trade and business services.
“Quarterly employment declines were mainly driven by trade and finance and business services which lost 32 000 jobs (-1.5%) and 23 000 (-1.0%), respectively.
“Additional job losses were also observed in community and social services with 8 000 (-0.3%), manufacturing with 4 000 jobs (-0.3) and transport with 1 000 jobs (-0.2%),” Dr Lehohla said.
Employment decreased by 58 000 year-on-year in March 2017 compared to March 2016. The largest contributors to the decrease were community services (-57 000), transport services (-18 000) and business services (-13 000).
Despite the decrease in employment, the statistics show an increase in employment in the construction industry with 12 000 jobs (2.0%) and mining industry with 8 000 (1.8%).
Gross earnings and average monthly earnings
With regards to total earning paid to employees, it declined by R19 billion to R588 billion in March 2017.
“The decrease in gross earnings was led by the manufacturing industry with R7.1 billion (-10.4%) quarter-to-quarter, followed by the trade with R6 billion (-6.5%), community services with R4.5 billion (-2.4%), construction with R4.4 billion (-13.9%), transport with R3.1 billion (-8.7%) and electricity industry with R1.2 billion (-14.4%),” he said.
There was a quarter-to-quarter increase in gross earnings in the finance and business services industry with R6.8 billion and mining with R5 million.
The survey results show a quarter-on-quarter increase of 0.8% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector from R18 536 in November 2016 to R18 687 in February 2017. Year-on-year, average monthly earnings increased by 8.3%.