Increase in unemployment as various industries shed jobs

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PHOTO: 1234rf.com

Various industries shed more jobs again in the first quarter of the year as expected, seen that there has not been much growth in the economy.

Total employment decreased by 67 000 or -0.6% compared to the previous quarter, from 10 731 000 in December 2023 to 10 664 000 in March 2024.

Total employment also decreased by 74 000 or -0,7% between March 2023 and March 2024.

According to Statistics SA, which announced the results of the Quarterly Employment Statistics for the first quarter on Tuesday, the quarterly decrease in jobs was due to decreases in:

  • trade where 57 000 jobs were lost
  • community services that shed 18 000 jobs
  • business services where 4 000 jobs were lost and
  • mining that shed 3 000 jobs.

The electricity industry showed no change and on the positive side, jobs were added in manufacturing (12 000), transport (2 000) and construction (1 000).

More unemployment as full-time and part-time employment decrease on quarterly and annual basis

Full-time employment decreased by 29 000 jobs compared to the fourth quarter, from 9 513 000 in December 2023 to 9 484 000 in March 2024 due to decreases in these industries:

  • trade that lost 35 000 jobs
  • community services lost 13 000 jobs and
  • and mining lost 3 000 jobs.

According to Statistics SA, the electricity and transport industries showed no change. However, there were increases in manufacturing that added 18 000 jobs, business services that added 3 000 and construction that added 1 000 jobs.

Compared to a year ago, full-time employment decreased by 16 000 or -0,2% between March 2023 and March 2024, adding to the South African unemployment statistics.

Part-time employment decreased by 38 000 from 1 218 000 in December 2023 to 1 180 000 in March 2024, due to jobs cut in these industries:

  • trade that cut 22 000 jobs
  • business services that shed 7 000 jobs
  • manufacturing that cut 6 000 jobs and
  • community services that shed 5 000 jobs.

The electricity and construction industries showed no changes. However the transport industry added 2 000 jobs.

On an annual basis, part-time employment decreased by 58 000 jobs between March 2023 and March 2024, adding to the unemployment figures in South Africa

Gross earnings decreased quarterly, but increased on annual basis

Statistics SA says gross earnings paid to employees also decreased, by R35.1 billion from R993 billion in December 2023 to R957.9 billion in March 2024, due to decreases in trade, community services, manufacturing, construction, transport, electricity and mining. Business services were the star, reporting an increase of R9,3 billion.

Gross earnings increased by R43,5 billion or 4,8%% between March 2023 and March 2024.

The employment statistics also showed that basic salary or wages paid to employees decreased by R6.7 billion from R855.6 billion in December 2023 to R848.9 billion in March 2024, due to decreases in trade, manufacturing, construction, mining and business services. Here there was good news with increases reported by transport, electricity and community services.

Basic salary or wages also increased by R40.1 billion between March 2023 and March 2024.

Bonuses and overtime shrank on quarterly basis, but increased on annual basis

The statistics also show that bonuses paid to employees decreased by R27.6 billion from R109 billion in December 2023 to R81.4 billion in March 2023 due to decreases in community services, trade, manufacturing, construction, transport and electricity.

Business services was the star again, reporting an increase of R9,9 billion.

Bonus payments increased by R0.4 billion between March 2023 and March 2024.

Overtime paid to employees also decreased by R0.8 billion from R28.4 billion in December 2023 to R27.6 billion in March 2024 due to decreases in business services, manufacturing, construction and transport. However, increases were reported by electricity, trade and community services.

Overtime payments increased by R3 billion between March 2023 and March 2024.

Statistics SA also says average monthly earnings paid to employees decreased by 0,1%, from R26 817 in November 2023 to R26 793 in February 2024 and increased by 4.7% between February 2023 and February 2024.

 

The Citizen / Ina Opperman