Media Release                                                                                                                                               11 December 2018


The results of the Quarterly employment survey (QES) for the third quarter of 2018 show a decrease of 16 000 jobs (or -0.2%) to 9 733 000 in the formal non-agricultural sector in the quarter ended in September 2018. This is a gain of 17 000 (or 0.2%) jobs when compared to the same period last year (September 2017). Quarterly employment decreases were mainly driven by manufacturing industry with 7 000 jobs (or -0.6%), construction industry with 5 000 jobs (or -0.8%). Other job losses were also observed in the mining industry with 2 000 jobs (or -0.4%), trade industry with 2 000 jobs (or -0.1%), transport industry with 1 000 (or -0.2%) and community services industry with 1 000 (or 0.0%). These latest QES figures were released by Statistics South Africa today.

However, there were job gains in employment observed in the business services industry with 2 000 (or 0.1%). Electricity industry remained unchanged in the quarter.

Gross earnings and average monthly earnings

Total earnings paid to employees increased by R26 billion (or 4.2%) to R653 billion in September 2018. However, this is R35 billion (or 5.6%) higher compared to the same period of last year (September 2017). The increase in gross earnings was led by community services industry with R15 billion (or 7.4%) quarter-to-quarter. The quarterly increase was followed by business services industry with R7,8 billion, mining industry with R1,8 billion, trade industry with R796 million, manufacturing industry with R711 million, electricity industry with R92 million and transport industry with R74 million.

There was however a decrease in gross earnings in the construction industry with R392 million.

There was a quarter-on-quarter increase of 3.5% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector from R20 163 in May 2018 to R20 860 in August 2018. Year-on-year average monthly earnings paid to employees increased by 5.0% from R19 865 in August 2017 to R20 860 in August 2018.


Issued by Statistics South Africa


For technical enquires contact:

Ms Gwen Lehloenya

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Ms Malerato Mosiane

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