SA formal sector jobs decline in second quarter of 2019

The June 2019 Quarterly Employment Survey, released by Statistics South Africa, showed that an estimated 10 172 000 people were employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy, which is down by 2 000 from the 10 174 000 recorded in the previous quarter.

Full-time employment decreased by 26 000 to 9 103 000, and part-time employment increased by 24 000 to 1 069 000.


The quarterly decrease in total employment was largely due to decreases in the following industries: manufacturing (-15 000 or -1,2%), business services (-14 000 or -0,6%), trade (-10 000 or -0,4%), construction (-9 000 or -1,5%) and electricity (-1 000 or -1,7%). The transport industry remained unchanged. However, there were increases in employment reported by community services with 44 000 and mining industries with 3 000 employees.

Total employment increased by 141 000 or 1,4% year-on-year between June 2018 and June 2019. This was largely due to increases in the following industries: community services (74 000 or 2,8%), trade (58 000 or 2,6%), business services (38 000 or 1,6%) and transport (6 000 or 1,3%). However, the following industries reported annual decreases: construction (-30 000 or -4,7%), electricity (-3 000 or -4,8%), mining and quarrying (-1 000 or -0,2%) and manufacturing (-1 000 or -0,1%).

Annually, full-time and part-time employment increased by 90 000 and of 51 000, respectively.

Total earnings paid to employees amounted to R699,9 billion in June 2019, up from R688,4 billion in March 2019, a quarterly increase of R11,5 billion or 1,7%.



Of the total gross earnings paid to employees in the June 2019 quarter, 92% was derived from basic salary/wages, and bonus and overtime payments contributed 5% and 3%, respectively. Basic salary increased by R15,0 billion (or 2,4%), bonus payments decreased by R5,5 billion (or -12,6%) and overtime payments increased by R2,0 billion (or 10,9%) quarter to quarter.

Quarter-on-quarter increases in gross earnings were led by the community industry with R9,4 billion, transport industry with R3,7 billion, trade industry with R1,5 billion, mining industry with R804 million, manufacturing industry with R769 million, and construction industry with R337 million. Decreases in gross earnings were reported in the business services industry with R4,9 billion, and the electricity industry with R39 million.

Year on year, total gross earnings increased by R45 billion (or 6,9%). Basic salaries increased by R40 billion, and bonus and overtime payments by R5 billion.

Average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector rose by 2,7% quarter to quarter, and this amounted to R21 432 in February 2019 from R20 859 in February 2019; however, year on year there was an increase of 4,9%.

For more information, download the Q2:2019, Quarterly employment survey, here.