Not much staff hiring for next quarter

2016-03-16 06:00

FEW employers plan to hire more staff during the April-June time frame, according to a survey released yesterday.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter, released yesterday, showed that 13% of employers expect to increase staffing levels, eight percent expect a decrease and 77% anticipate no change.

Once the data is adjusted for seasonal variation, the outlook is unchanged compared with the first quarter 2016, but fell six percentage points year-over-year.

Manpower SA managing director Lyndy van den Barselaar said the weak rand has had a negative impact on many South African businesses.

“Increased operating and import costs, rising costs of necessities and the falling price of commodities, mean many businesses do not have the budget to hire new talent in the coming quarter,” she said.

The employment trend is similar to the global trend, she said in a statement. But staffing levels are expected to grow in all five regions in the second quarter, albeit in lower numbers.

Employers in KwaZulu-Natal have reported the strongest hiring prospects. Some payroll gains are anticipated in both Eastern Cape and Gauteng. Western Cape employers expect a modest hiring pace, while the outlook for Free State stands at +1%.

“KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa’s second-largest economy, and is home to two of the country’s largest and busiest ports. The current increase in the number of imports into South Africa is contributing to the growth in the province,” said Van den Barselaar.

When compared with the previous quarter, employers report weaker hiring prospects in three of the five regions, with the most noteworthy declines of four to two percentage points reported for Free State and Gauteng, respectively.

The outlook for Eastern Cape strengthened by six percentage points.

Year-over-year, hiring plans weakened in all five regions. A considerable decline of nine percentage points was reported in Western Cape, while outlooks were six and four percentage points weaker in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, respectively.

The strongest labour market was expected by electricity, gas and water supply sector employers.

Employers also reported cautiously optimistic hiring plans in the finance, insurance, real estate, business services sectors and the restaurants and hotels sector.

Flat labour markets are expected in agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing, and the wholesale and retail trade sector.

“Owing to water shortages and the rising cost of electricity, South African citizens continue to look into alternate sources of electricity and ways to conserve water. This is definitely a contributing factor to the growth in the utilities sector, as businesses in the sector work on and develop new products,” said Van den Barselaar.

Survey research showed that job gains are expected in 39 of 42 countries and territories in the April-June time frame. Hiring intentions in most countries and territories remain modest. — Business Editor.

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