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South African Employment Shows Increase in Construction & Mining Sector

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Employment has increased by 93,000 quarter-on-quarter. This is according to figures released in Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA’s) quarterly employment report on Monday.

This is a growth of 1% compared to the same quarter last year. Jobs increased in community services, construction, business services, mining and quarrying. The report shows, however, that job decreases in the manufacturing and transport sectors.

According to Stats SA, jobs in the community & social services sector increased by 78,000. In construction and business services, jobs both grew by 6,000. Employment in mining and quarrying grew by 2,000.

About the increases, Standard Bank Chief Economist Goolam Balim says,

  “When we make too many changes, we exclude site of some of the underlying trends. For example, if we look at the overall unemployment rate for the whole economy, it has lagged at 27% and yet for a while, it was volatile at around 25%. It speaks to the nature of risks interpreting a single data point and suggesting that it may be the mark of a trend or a reversal.

What has been important is that the trend in 2016 has been one where, on the whole, the number of people spilling over into e-labour market looking for jobs has been greater than the number finding jobs.”

Goolam Balim, cautions that many of the jobs created within the construction sector could be of a temporary nature: “Even in sectors where we have had increased employment, we still have a high level of unemployment in the overall economy.

Retail and wholesale trade will pick up and absorb temporary workers that will, in all likelihood, be laid off again in the first quarter of next year. Construction has also enjoyed vibrancy in some places.”

Gross earnings paid to employees for the reported quarter increased by over R20 million or 3.9%. This was mainly due to increases in the business, community services and trade industries.

Average monthly earnings, including bonuses and overtime payments, for all industries in the formal non-agricultural sector of the economy, increased by 0.1% from 18,077 in May this year to 18,104 in August.

The manufacturing sector continued to lose jobs.

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