16 000 jobs lost in non-agricultural sectors

South Africa shed 16 000 jobs in last year’s final quarter, and that’s without factoring in the havoc playing out in the agricultural sector as the drought across large sectors of the country and uncertainty about politics and land dispossession tighten their grip.

On the eve of the release of its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), Stats SA revealed that the following sectors had been hard by job losses: manufacturing, construction, mining, trade, transport.

Manufacturing and construction alone contracted by 7000 and 5000 vacancies each.

The statistics authority said “the manufacturing and construction industries accounted for about three quarters of the decline in unemployment of the quarter.

“Whilst both these industries have recorded quarterly job losses, when looking at the annual job levels, they have continued to trend downwards since December 2017.”

It makes it all the more difficult to believe that South Africa’s overall employment rate for 2018 actually went up – by 17 000 new jobs.

Varied reports though stated that this was mostly because of seasonal hiring.

There were 9 733 000 people employed in non-agricultural sectors at the end of last year, Stats SA said.

Its QLFS will be released tomorrow.

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