Job prospects better

2013-02-05 00:00

DESPITE the gloomy economic climate, KwaZulu-Natal’s employment prospects look brighter than many other provinces.

This is according to the MD of Manpower South Africa, Lyndy van den Barselaar, who told The Witness that better prospects in transport and manufacturing in KZN would bring some employment relief to the local economy.

She said that the latest first quarter 2012 Manpower survey revealed that KZN was the most upbeat province, with a +2 rating. This figure is five points higher on a quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year basis.

In contrast, South Africa’s rating in quarter one of 2013 is -1. This figure is unchanged when compared to the first quarter of 2012.

“KwaZulu-Natal’s figure usually comes in quite low. But sectors that showed improvement are sectors that KZN is strong in, including transport, agriculture, thanks to the good rains recently and manufacturing.

“KwaZulu-Natal manufactures a diverse range of goods. KZN generally has always been a lagging province in terms of employment trends.

“It is seen as a breeding ground … as skills often leave the province for Gauteng.

“However, KZN offers a better quality of life … and KZN will benefit from infrastructure improvements in the future.”

The survey canvasses the hiring intentions of about 750 employers around the country, covering all sectors.

According to Statistics South Africa, the number of employed people in KZN in the third quarter of 2012 increased by 23 000 year on year or by 13 000 quarter on quarter.

However, the unemployment rate in the province remained stubbornly high at 21,3% in the third quarter compared to 19,8% in the second quarter of 2012.

The number of unemployed people in the province grew by 62 000 quarter on quarter.

There were 570 000 discouraged work-seekers in KZN in the third quarter of 2012.

Van den Barselaar said that while jobs were available in South Africa, employers were increasingly looking for skilled employees.

“There are jobs available for skilled people, in abundance.”

She added that the wider economy and its participants remain strained.

“There is a lack of business confidence and consumer confidence is also low. This leads to a lack of investment, which leads to a lack of jobs and spending — which could have stimulated the economy.

“South Africa is not unique — our global partners tell us that it’s the same situation elsewhere in the world.”

Lyndy van den Barselaar

KwaZulu-Natal generally has always been a lagging province in terms of employment trends. It is seen as a breeding ground … as skills often leave the province for Gauteng

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