Johannesburg - Employment in SA grew 1.61% on an annual basis in September‚ following declines in August‚ the latest Adcorp employment index revealed on Wednesday.
The index is regarded as the most representative monthly barometer of employment trends in SA‚ although its figures do not usually tally with those from SA’s official statistics agency‚ Statistics SA.
Adcorp said job gains in September amounted to 25 855‚ partly reversing the decline of 82 431 jobs observed in the four-month period of May‚ June‚ July and August.
The index showed that jobs growth was observed in all sectors‚ with informal sector jobs continuing to outperform the others with a growth rate of 2.3% or 12 059 jobs during the month.
Strong growth was observed in temporary and agency work‚ with 0.9% and 1.0% growth rates respectively.
Adcorp said this was likely to continue as the economy ramped up for the year-end retail season.
The primary and secondary sectors of mining and manufacturing continued to shed jobs‚ losing 14 000 jobs between them during the month.
The tertiary sectors‚ mostly services‚ gained 23 000 jobs during the month. The strongest employment growth was observed in transport (10.7%)‚ construction (7.1%) and financial services (6.5%).
Turning to conditions in the mining sector‚ Adcorp’s broad conclusion is that high wage settlements and problematic labour relations will lead to long-term job losses.
In assessing recent developments in the mining sector‚ Adcorp said its employment index found that over the past year mining sector wages‚ including bonuses and overtime‚ had increased by 13.8% versus an 11.4% decline in labour productivity.
“It reveals that the 25.2% absolute gap between labour costs and labour’s contribution is now the highest in recorded history‚” the employment services group said.
SA’s mines were “responding rationally” by reducing their dependence on labour‚ Adcorp said.
Its figures showed that since the peak in 1986‚ employment in the mining sector had declined by 37.7%‚ from 839 000 to 523 000.
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