Informal sector boosts SA jobs

2012-11-12 12:36

Johannesburg - Employment in the month of October increased by an annualised rate of 1% boosted by the informal sector, according to the Adcorp Employment Index released on Monday.

During September and October, the economy added 41 971 jobs, partly reversing the decline of 82 431 jobs observed in the four-month period of May, June, July and August.

Jobs were created in all sectors, but the informal sector continued to outperform the others, growing at a rate of 2.3% or 12 250 jobs during October.

Strong growth was observed in temporary and agency work (1.2% and 1.4% respectively).

Loane Sharp, chief analyst at Adcorp Holdings, said the strong growth was likely to continue as the economy ramped up for the year-end retail season.

The primary and secondary sectors (mining and manufacturing) lost 6 000 jobs between them during the month, with ongoing strikes a key factor in this decline.

The tertiary sectors (mostly services) gained 14 000 jobs.

The strongest employment growth was observed in construction (4.7%), financial services (4.3%) and wholesale and retail trade (3.4%).

High-skilled jobs continued to outperform low-skilled jobs.

"Professional and clerical employment grew 3% with 17 000 jobs during the month, while low-skilled employment fell by 1.3%, equating to 6 000 jobs," said Sharp.

He said the recent 2011 population census results still did not provide clear answers on the size and economic significance of the informal sector.

"According to the 2011 census, informal sector employment amounts to 1.61 million - 27.2% lower than the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)."

He said the census had cast doubt over the QLFS as well.

"Adcorp's latest estimate for October 2012 suggests that there are 6.4 million people employed, in the sense of being routinely economically active in the informal sector, representing 32.9% of total employment in South Africa," Sharp said.

The informal sector was the fastest job-creating sector in the South African economy.

Since January 2011 the informal sector had created 184 098 jobs compared to the loss of 26 098 jobs in the formal sector, he said.


  • botha.fourie - 2012-11-12 12:47

    That is great - keep creating jobs!!!

  • wonderboy.s.maseko - 2012-11-12 13:49

    There's still more job that will created by the infrastructure development especial 4rm the construction.

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-11-12 13:49

    A parallel and untaxed economy is being created due to the fact that the Government cannot implement any realistic job creation plan. They only have themsleves to blame when it comes to a shrinking tax base but then they don't care as they will just hike taxes once again.

      carel.venter - 2012-11-12 15:26

      Only true for direct tax. That is the benefit of indirect taxes. It is also not the job of government to create jobs (it is very expensive if government must do it). What we need from them is to make easier to start and run a business (formal one). Entrepreneurs will then create jobs while paying direct and indirect taxes.

      strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-12 20:12

      Carel, Ilike your comment and agree that Government should not create jobs as they would create high paying jobs with little or no production and or output. The private sector on the other hand knows that whatever business you engage in, should make a profit to be sustainable. Despite what anybody might think, the private sector also like their workers to be happy and well paid, as such workers bring in better results than lower paid workers spending too much time engaging in industrial action. The problem with workers these days is that they over estimate their worth. They compare themselves with senior management and say things like "the company CEO takes home too much and workers are exploited". Workers should know that when one of them leave, the company hardly notices their absence. When a CEO leaves, like recently the case with Telkom, shares start looking shaky and money is lost. Stop focussing on what company CEO' s are taking home and focus on your worth to the company. Remember you can make a difference only when you are better than the rest - otherwise you are seen as one of the pack and deserves no special attention. The pack on the other hand does not like it if one person excells, and will call you a "token appointmeny, coconut or any stupid name" purely because they are jelous. You can make a difference, but you need to take the first step!

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