Slight growth in jobs

2019-07-03 06:00

EMPLOYMENT in SA’s non-agricultural formal sector grew by 22 000 in the first quarter of 2019, Stats SA announced yesterday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin.

This follows an increase of 87 000 jobs in the last quarter of 2018. QES results are based on a sample survey conducted by Stats SA and include findings on employment in the non-agricultural formal sector.

Stats SA reported that employment increased from 10 152 000 in December 2018 to 10 174 000 in March 2019.

THIS WAS LARGELY DUE TO INCREASES IN:

•Community services (19 000);

• Mining and quarrying (6 000);

• Manufacturing (5 000); and

• Business services (5 000).

THERE WERE DECREASES IN:

• trade (-8 000);

• transport industry (-3 000);

• electricity industry (-1 000); and

• construction (-1 000).

Total earnings paid to employees amounted to R688 billion in March 2019, Stats SA reported, down from R728 billion in December 2018, which represents a quarterly decrease of R40 billion or -5,6%.

The QES bulletin is separate from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which is also published by Stats SA.

While the labour force survey gives SA’s official unemployment rate, the QES gives a snapshot of total non-agricultural formal sector employment.

The QES bulletin does not provide an official unemployment rate. The struggling economy has taken a heavy toll on companies this year, and many have announced retrenchments.

These are some of the biggest job losses since the start of the year:

• FEBRUARY: DUNKIN DONUTS & BASKIN ROBBINS — 120 JOBS.

• MARCH: STANDARD BANK 1 200 JOBS

South Africa’s largest bank in terms of total assets announced it will close dozens of branches as the bank focuses on digital banking. Standard Bank said the closures will affect an anticipated 1 200 jobs, but some employees will be accommodated within its existing structure.

• GROUP FIVE — UNDISCLOSED

Construction giant Group Five announced that it has budgeted R233 million for additional retrenchments in 2019 after retrenching 1 000 employees in 2018. It filed for bankruptcy protection and said that a fire sale of some of its assets was the only option to survie.

• ABSA — 827 JOBS

Absa said it was restructuring its South African retail and business banking unit, which will affect 827 employees.

• MAY: PPC CEMENT — UNDISCLOSED

PPC cement said it is restructuring its Port Elizabeth operation due to the tough economic environment.

• TISO BLACKSTAR GROUP — UNDISCLOSED

Media, broadcast and retail group Tiso Blackstar announced staff cuts at some of its publications.

• VAN SCHAIK — UNDISCLOSED

Van Schaik, which operates over 70 stores in South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana, embarked on a large scale restructuring process.

• TONGAAT HULETT — 5 000 JOBS

South Africa’s largest sugar producer issued Section 189 letters to 5 000 permanent and temporary workers.

• HULAMIN EXTRUSIONS — 200 JOBS

Hulamin Extrusions plans to cut 50% of its staff, affecting roughly 200 positions. This as the company plans to close its Olifantsfontein facility and restructure the Pietermaritzburg plant and support services operations.

• JUNE: SIBANYE-STILLWATER — 3 450 JOBS

The mining conglomerate in January retrenched workers after a section 189 process.

• MULTICHOICE — 2 000 JOBS

Despite posting a strong profit of R7 billion, Multichoice said it will retrench 2 000 employees at its call centres and walk-in services. This as the entertainment company is restructuring its business model to keep up with changing trends, competition from internet streaming providers such as Netflix and demands of its customers.

• ALEXKOR — 238 JOBS

State-owned marine diamond miner Alexkor said it will be laying off 238 people after failing to get a licence to mine coal.

• CONTINENTAL TYRE — 170

Continental Tyre South Africa plans to retrench 170 people when it shuts down some operations in Port Elizabeth. — Business Insider SA.

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