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Jobs growth takes a knock

Dec 10 2010 15:45 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg -  Employment in South Africa dropped by an annualised 2.41% in November, the latest Adcorp Employment Index released on Friday revealed.

In October there was a 2.83% rise.

The report showed that the number of permanent workers fell by 2.74%, while the number of temporary workers slipped by 1.60% and the number of agency workers increased by 5.59% in November.

The estimated number of agency workers in South Africa was revised upward by 10.6% during November from 883 227 to 976 418, reflecting new data available from the National Association of Bargaining Councils (NABC).

"Disturbingly, significant job losses (18 000) occurred in the manufacturing sector and the financial services sector (7 000)," Adcorp said.

Among the major sectors, only retail and wholesale trade reported increased employment (10 000), reflecting buoyant retail trade conditions related to imported goods and a relatively strong real exchange rate, the group said.

It noted that analysis of the new data series made available by the NABC and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) showed that there were about 100 000 more labour broker workers than was previously estimated, and that 0.9% of labour broker workers had referred labour disputes to the CCMA over the past year.

According to Adcorp's latest statistical estimates, temporary employment agencies (labour brokers) represent 6.8% of total employment in South Africa and 23.2% of the country's temporary and part-time workforce.

Agency work is also the fastest-growing segment of the South African labour market, with average annual growth of 9.4% between 2000 and 2010, compared to 3.6% in non-agency temp work and an average annual decline of 1.2% in permanent work.

"In a survey of bargaining councils, the NABC estimates that there are 781 134 agency workers in the 14 identified bargaining councils in South Africa," said Adcorp CEO Richard Pike.
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