Mining, manufacturing contribute to 16 000 jobs slide

Statistics South Africa has released data on the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors, which contributed significantly to the loss of 16 000 jobs in the third quarter of 2018.

Stats SA released the report on Tuesday afternoon. It showed that the mining sector gave a modest increase in production, but contributed to a decrease in employment.

"Employment decreased by 16 000 quarter-on-quarter, from 9 749 000 in June 2018 to 9 733 000 in September 2018," the report said.

This was largely due to decreases in manufacturing, where there were 7 000 job losses; construction, with 5 000 job losses; mining and quarrying, with 1 000 job losses; and community services, with 1 000 job losses. 

Job losses

The report said the mining and quarrying industry reported an annual decrease of 3 000 employees (-0.7%) in September 2018 compared with September 2017.

"There was a quarterly decrease of 2 000 employees (-0.4%) in September 2018 compared with June 2018. This was mainly due to decreases in employment in gold and platinum group metals mining," the report read.

The report said gross earnings paid to employees in the mining and quarrying industry reflected an annual increase of R1.77bn or 5.5% in September 2018. compared with September 2017.

Production

This comes after month-on-month changes of 0.7% in September 2018 and 1.1% in August 2018. The positive production trend is led by precious group metals, coal and other metallic minerals.

Despite the mining industry reeling from a period of financial and labour-related difficulties, mineral sales increased by 3.9% year-on-year in October 2018, Stats SA said.

The largest negative contributors were iron ore (down 22% and contributing) and gold (down 15.1%), according to Stats SA. "Seasonally adjusted mining production increased by 3.3% in October 2018 compared with September 2018," the report read.

However, seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 1.5% in the three months ended October 2018, compared to the previous three months, Stats SA said.

Stats SA said a seasonally adjusted mineral sales increase of 9% in October followed month-on-month changes of -4.3% in September 2018 and 6.4% in August 2018.

"In the three months ended October 2018, the seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices was 3% higher compared with the previous three months," the report said.

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