Jobs crisis worsens

2009-12-16 00:00

EMPLOYMENT data released yesterday showed available jobs in the country’s formal sector declined at a faster pace in the third quarter, with at least 79 000 more people left jobless during the period.

Non-farm employment figures dropped 3,9% to 8,1 million in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2008. The annual decline in the second quarter was 2,3%.

“One of the biggest costs of the crisis was job losses,” said Elna Moolman, economist at Barnard Jacob Mellet. “But there’s a bit of stabilisation in these numbers; we’re expecting some improvement in the early part of next year and job-creation towards the end of 2010.”

Mining, construction and manufacturing — three of SA’s key sectors — shed the most jobs in the year to end-September. The mining sector lost almost nine percent of its labour force during that period, while construction and manufacturing both suffered losses of about eight percent.

In terms of quarterly drops, construction was the sector that retrenched the most workers between June and September (2,5%).

Stats SA said this was due to the completion of many construction projects and a job drought following the boom of the past three years.

The consumer goods industry — such as motor retail, leisure and household goods — also reported a sizeable drop (two percent quarter on quarter) after South Africans cut discretionary spending in an effort to reduce debt.

On the flip side, government is still hiring and this was evident in the 3,3% annual increase in civil servants, teachers and health practitioners.

The only private industry showing a small indication of recovery was logistics and communications. Jobs here fell 3,3% annually in the third quarter but increased by a marginal 0,3% quarter on quarter.

However, Moolman said it was difficult to determine whether the job-creation in this sector was due to seasonal factors, or a turning point in the economy.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.