SA formal sector jobs increased in the fourth quarter of 2018

The December 2018 QES survey showed that an estimated 10 151 000
people were employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy, which is up by 87 000 from 10 064 000 in the previous quarter. The number of people working part-time increased by 37 000 to 1 065 000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Similarly, the number of people working full-time increased by 50 000 to 9 086 000 in the same quarter.


Business services industry accounted for the biggest share of the observed increase in employment, contributing 53 000 employees, followed by the trade industry with 49 000 employees, community services industry with 9 000 employees and transport industry with 5 000 employees. However, there were decreases in employment reported by construction industry with 18 000 employees, mining industry with 7 000 employees, manufacturing industry with 3 000 employees, and the electricity industry with 1 000 employees.

Employment increased by 158 000 or 1,6% year-on-year between December 2017 and December 2018, with 134 000 being full time jobs and 24 000 part time jobs.

These increases were mainly in: business services (77 000 or 3,4%), trade (55 000 or 2,5%), community services (32 000 or 1,2%) , transport (7 000 or 1,5%) and manufacturing industry (5 000 or 0,4%). During the same period, annual decreases were recorded in construction (-9 000 or -1,4%), mining and quarrying (-8 000 or -1,8%) and electricity industry (-1 000 or -1,6%).

Total earnings paid to employees amounted to R725 billion in December 2018, up from R685 billion in September 2018, a quarterly increase of R40 billion or 5,8%. Bonuses and overtime paid contributed
R35 billion while basic salaries contributed R5 billion to the net increase.

Increases in gross earnings were led by trade industry with R11,0 billion, manufacturing industry with
R8,2 billion, business services industry with R7,1 billion, community services industry with R5,5 billion, construction industry with R3,5 billion, transport industry with R2,6 billion, electricity industry with
R1,5 billion and mining industry with R544 million.

Year-on-year, total gross earnings increased by R46 603 million or (6,9%).

Average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector remained unchanged quarter to quarter, and this amounted to R21 190 in November 2018; however annually it increased by 4,9%.

For more information on employment in South Africa, download the full report here.