Johannesburg - The mining and manufacturing sector lost 15
000 jobs in December while overall employment increased by a marginal 0.8%,
according to the Adcorp Employment Index released on Thursday.
The actual overall number of jobs grew by 12 556 in mining
but permanent jobs continued to decline.
In the last four months of 2012 the economy added 125 029
jobs, reversing the decline of the first eight months of last year.
Employment increased in all sectors except mining and
Permanent jobs declined by 5 542 whereas temporary jobs
increased by 9 074 in the reporting month of December.
The unofficial sector - that part of the economy that was
not captured by official statistics - grew strongly, creating 9 024 jobs.
The primary and secondary sectors continued to shed jobs.
Tertiary sectors (mostly services) gained 17 000 jobs.
The strongest employment growth was observed in transport
which stood at 12.7%, wholesale and retail trade 3.4% and construction 4.7%.
Adcorp revealed that from 2000 to 2012, the number of
permanent jobs declined by 1.9 million, whereas the number of temporary jobs
increased by 2.6 million.
"Currently temporary jobs account for 30.5% of all jobs
in South Africa, up from 11% in 2000," said Adcorp's labour market analyst
Sharp described the decrease in permanent jobs and increase
in temporary job as "a striking feature" of South Africa's labour
"In other words, all of the growth in jobs over the
past decade has been of a temporary nature," he said.
Permanent work has not yet begun to increase since the 2009
recession, whereas the recession is hardly evident in the secular increase in
temporary work, Sharp said.
"In circumstances of variable and unpredictable sales
volumes, employers are able to match their labour input to output levels by
utilising temporary workers.
"The growing effect of seasonality on output levels in
agriculture, retail trade, tourism, catering, logistics and other sectors has
increased the use of temporary workers in these sectors," he said.
Increasingly employers viewed labour costs - such as
employee administration and other human resource practices - as
"non-core" activities, preferring to outsource these activities to
specialised third parties.
He said the country's labour legislation was becoming
The regulatory burden was consequently rising, with the
result that employers were increasingly seeking ways to reduce their exposure
to regulatory risks, Sharp said.