New figures from the QES showed that South Africa’s formal non-agricultural sector shed 31 000 jobs in the third quarter of 2017. With losses of 41 000 in March 2017 and 31 000 in June 2017, this marks the third straight quarter of job losses across South Africa.
The job market has experienced notable pressure in the last year, with 83 000 formal jobs lost from September 2016 to September 2017.
The greatest losses were reported in the community and personal services industry, down 10 000 for the quarter and 106 000 for the year. This is the fourth consecutive quarter where the industry has shed jobs. These losses, to a large extent, were driven by the government sector.
Other losses were seen in the mining and quarrying industry, down 9 000 for the quarter. The trade industry shed 7 000 jobs for the quarter but gained 38 000 for the year. Quarterly losses were also observed in the services industry, 6 000 jobs, manufacturing industry, 5 000 jobs and electricity industry, 1 000 jobs.
Growth was seen in the construction industry where 4 000 jobs were created in September 2017 following a decline of 15 000 jobs in June 2017.
Moderate gains were also reported in the transport industry with 3 000 jobs added in the current quarter following five quarters of consecutive job shedding.
Gross earnings for the quarter ended September 2017 increased by R19,5 billion. The total amount of gross earnings measured for the quarter was R606 billion. This is up from R587 billion in the previous quarter. There was a 6,0% year-on-year increase in earnings in the current quarter compared with September 2016, amounting to R34 billion.
The increase in earnings was dominated by the business services industry with R10 billion. This is followed by the community services industry with R5 billion, the electricity industry with R2 billion, the trade industry and manufacturing industry with R1 billion each, the mining and quarrying industry with R729 million, and the construction industry with R38 million.
Earnings in the transport industry decreased by R223 million.
Average monthly earnings measured at R19 608 in the formal non-agricultural sector of the economy for the September 2017 quarter. It only increased by 2,2% from the previous quarter and by 8,7% from the same quarter in 2016.