‘Significant’ job losses loom for SA by 2012

2011-08-11 00:00

SIGNIFICANT job losses loom on the horizon in South Africa, according to leading employment services companies.

Human capital management group Adcorp yesterday predicted that the country will shed a massive 468 192 jobs in the remaining months of 2011 and in 2012.

Adcorp’s monthly employment index for July shows that employment in SA declined by 0,4% — the third straight monthly decline.

Adcorp said the decline amounts to the annual equivalent of 270 504 permanent and 79 380 temporary jobs.

Employment and staffing services company Manpower SA also warned of further job shedding due to uncertainty about the health of the global economic recovery and financial market volatility.

Manpower SA managing director Peter Winn said jobs in key sectors, such as financial services and information technology, could be particularly vulnerable to a slowdown.

SA shed more than one million jobs during the recession in 2009 and has battled to recover since then.

At the end of June 13,1 million people were employed in the country, compared with 14 million at the end of 2008.

Adcorp’s July index showed that government employment rose by 1,4%, as did “unofficial” jobs, which grew by an average of 191 124 during July.

Loane Sharp, Adcorp’s labour market analyst, said the public sector has effectively become the main engine for job creation in the economy in 2011.

“Employment declined most sharply in the mining [-7,7%] and manufacturing [-8,6%] sectors in spite of sharply rising export prices for commodities and basic beneficiated manufactured products,” Sharp said.

Despite the intensity of strike action recently, Adcorp said membership of South African trade unions declined from 4,3 million in 2000 to 3,2 million in 2010.

Sharp said Adcorp’s research predicts that the number of strike-induced work days lost will rise by 22% to 17,8 million in 2011.

“South Africa may see a decrease in private sector employment statistics, influenced by international businesses that are directly affected by the global market and trading environment, in other words — financial institutions,” Winn said.

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