SA lost 395 000 jobs in 2010

2011-09-28 13:02

About 395 000 jobs were lost in 2010, Stats SA said today.

Nearly 13.1 million people were employed in 2010 compared with 13.5 million in 2009.

“This indicates the country has not yet fully recovered from the economic downturn in 2009,” Stats SA deputy director-general for population and social statistics, Kefiloe Masiteng, told reporters in Pretoria.

However, the level of employment in 2010, at 13.1 million, was still higher than that of 2005, when it was 12.8 million.

More than three-quarters of the working-age population (78%) were black, yet they made up only 70% of the employed.

Whites, who made up 10% of the working-age population, made up 15% of the employed.

“This shows a higher rate of entry and participation by whites than by blacks in the labour market,” Masiteng said.

In addition, only a small proportion of blacks in the labour force (12%) had a tertiary qualification, compared with whites at 43% and Indians at 24%.

Jobs in the formal sector shrunk by 3.5% in 2010 compared with the previous year. Employment in the informal sector grew by 1.4%.

Of those people in jobs, the median monthly earnings were R2 900. A third of workers (excluding agriculture) earned less than this.

The age profile of the working population showed the labour market was struggling to absorb young people, Masiteng said.

About one in four working-age people were between the ages of 25 and 34.

People of this age made up 41% of unemployed people, while more than half of the not economically active category were aged between 15 and 24.

Masiteng said between 2005 and 2010, the working-age population grew by 8.7%, but employment grew by only 2.3%.

This meant the labour market’s absorption rate had fallen from 43.4% to 40.8%.

The trade industry was the biggest contributor to employment in most provinces, except the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State, where community and social services accounted for the largest share of total employment.

The figures were contained in the labour market dynamics report for 2010.

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