Pretoria - The job market in South Africa is in the spotlight after Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released its employment statistics report for the second quarter of the year, which showed that jobs had declined by 34 000.
Statistician-general Pali Lehohla revealed on Thursday that the decline of 34 000 was out of a total of 9 617 000 jobs in the formal non-agricultural sector in the quarter that ended in June 2017.
Despite the decrease the market still has 13 000 more jobs compared to the same quarter last year.
The job losses were driven mainly by cuts in the manufacturing industry (13 000), the construction industry (11 000) and community services (10 000).
Lehohla said additional job losses were observed in the transport and communication services - with 5 000 jobs being cut, and the business services industry, where employment shrank by 1 000 jobs.
He said that, even when taking into account recent announcements of possible retrenchments in the mining industry, employment opportunities in the trade and mining industry increased by 3 000.
Total earning decrease
As a result of the decline in jobs, total earnings paid to employees also declined by R2bn to R586bn in the second quarter of 2017. This is still R33bn more than at the same period last year.
The decrease in gross earnings was led by the business services industry, with a loss if R13.6bn or 8.6% quarter on quarter.
Stats SA reported that there was a quarter-to-quarter increase in gross earnings from the community services industry to the tune of R7bn, followed by the transport and communications industry with R2bn.
There was also a quarter-to-quarter increase of 2.7% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector, from R18 662 in February 2017 to R19 170 in May 2017.
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