Local employment drops again

By Drum Digital
10 July 2012

Employment in South Africa fell sharply by two percent in June, the Adcorp Employment Index revealed on Tuesday.

The latest decline in employment comes after a decrease of 3.1 percent in May.

In June, a total of 31,781 jobs were lost, bringing the total amount of jobs lost in the last two months to 85,520.

Most sectors reported a decline in employment, apart from wholesale and retail trade, which showed a 2.1 percent increase.

All occupations reported a decline in employment except for managers and professionals, which grew by 2.2 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

The agricultural sector recorded the sharpest decline of -12.7 percent, followed by the transport industry with -8.6 percent.

Mining declined by 8.1 percent while the plant, equipment and construction sectors lost 4.7 percent of their workforce.

Employment in the informal sector grew by 0.2 percent, which was the twelfth consecutive monthly increase.

Adcorp Holdings labour economist Loane Sharp said an analysis based on a limited number of candidates showed that the wage premium for affirmative action candidates was 23.1 percent for black men and 36.4 percent for females, compared to their white counterparts.

"The wage premium of affirmative action candidates over their non-affirmative counterparts is one of the most important labour market indicators," said Sharp.

He said that in order to determine the affirmative action premium, it was necessary to hold constant the level of skills, qualifications, experience, on-the-job performance and other pertinent information to accurately reflect the purely race-linked pay discrepancies between the candidates.

Since much of the information required to determine the "premium" was not recorded or not readily available, Adcorp obtained the information from 1 604 permanent placements it made for the 12-month period June 2011 to May 2012.

"The figures also showed that Asians and coloureds earn 2.7 percent and 7.3 percent less than whites respectively. Whereas blacks earn 23.1 percent more than whites for equivalent levels of skills, qualifications, experience and on-the-job performance."

Sharp said when the figures were dissected by gender further, Asian and black females earned 3.1 percent and 15.5 percent more than their male counterparts.

Coloured and white females earned 25.2 percent and 20.6 percent less than their male counterparts.

"It is important to stress that as the data is not consistently available over time, it is impossible to say whether the affirmative action wage premium has been rising or falling over time," said Sharp.

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