Johannesburg - The number of people employed in South Africa’s formal sector increased by 0.7% in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter as sectors such as retail, construction and financial service added jobs. Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday the number of people working in the formal sector rose by 59 000 in the third quarter to 8.359 million. Stats SA said compared to the same period a year ago, employment increased by 2.5%. Sectors that created jobs included financial services, wholesale, retail and the construction sectors. The manufacturing sector, which has been the hardest hit by a global economic slowdown, continued to shed jobs, with 8 000 people in the sector out of work compared to a year ago. President Jacob Zuma’s government has pledged to increase employment as many South Africans are increasingly growing disillusioned with inequalities in the economy. But meeting the target of 5 million jobs by 2020 will be tough as the economy is expected to grow by an average 3% to 3.5% over the next few years, a fraction of the 7% the government has said is needed to make a dent into unemployment. Analysts have said labour laws proposed by the ANC and before parliament are expected to make things worse by adding costs and burdens on employers.