SA continues to shed low-skilled jobs

2011-07-11 10:33

Johannesburg - Employment in the mainly unskilled and semi-skilled categories dropped sharply during June, while positions in the unofficial sector shot up as did high-skilled management and professional services jobs.

This is according to the latest employment index for June, released by Adcorp on Monday.

Adcorp has also predicted a marked increase of 22% in strike activity during 2011 compared with last year.

"About 127 100 permanent and 5 712 temporary jobs were shed last month, even though a 21.9% increase in high-level and professional employment was seen," Adcorp labour market analyst Loane Sharp said.

The buoyant agency sector, which has consistently contributed to employment growth for well over a decade, remained completely static.

SA's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world. In 2010, there were 8.5 million unemployed and underemployed people.

Sharp said official statistics do not incorporate informal employment, which is employment that may not involve a formal contract or membership of a pension fund or medical aid.

"If we fully account for informal employment, SA's unemployment rate is closer to 8% than 25%," says Sharp.

"Many millions of enterprising South Africans make a living on a daily basis and neither pay taxes nor adhere to labour laws."

Adcorp's employment index for June shows that positions in the unofficial sector increased by 1 059.

This month's Adcorp employment index also reveals that in 2010 there were more working days lost due to strikes and work stoppages than at the peak of "rolling mass action" under apartheid.

"Based on Adcorp's monitoring of trade union activities this year, we estimate that SA will lose 24.9 million days due to strikes and work stoppages in 2011. This represents an increase of 22% over 2010.

"Compared with recent years, where strike activity has been most aggressive in the government sector, the private sector is likely to account for 68% of all workdays lost this year.

SA's unemployment rate increased from about 7% in the mid-1970s to 13% in the mid-1990s and 25% in the late 2000s. 

  • DirtySamurai - 2011-07-11 10:49

    At least the government sector "lost days" last year weren't too bad - other than the chunk of committed teachers and nurses it makes no difference to service levels whether they there or not.

  • Oddearring - 2011-07-11 10:53

    No wonder. No one can afford what they want to get paid. I can only afford to pay someone in relation to their benefit to my company. If you cost me more that you generate for me, sorry, no job.

  • The_Lil_Wizard - 2011-07-11 10:56

    Can you imagine the amount of money that companies would have earned during those 24.9 million days in order to increase employment, as well as increase the wages of workers? The reason companies can only afford 4-6% wage increases is due to the fact that they need to budget 1-2 weeks of their staff striking, instead of actually working! The trade unions need to catch a serious wake up! Unemployment doubling in 10 years, that's digusting! No-one wants to hire someone that you can't get rid of if they don't perform, or that is going to strike at any minor disagreement!

  • scud - 2011-07-11 11:10

    If SA's unemployment is 8% I will eat my car.Just go to townships,squatter camps,and building sites and you will see more than 8% in a few days.

  • white malema fan - 2011-07-11 11:11

    And!!! where is Mr. ZUMA's promiss of Job creation wake up South Africans wake up

      Colourblind - 2011-08-10 11:32

      Where are all the trade schools that are supposed to be training our workers?

  • mickh - 2011-07-11 11:11

    And more jobs will be lost after all this irresponsible trade union action. If you can buy a machine to do the work, do it. They are a much better bet thatn people.

      Together - 2011-07-12 11:27

      Or simple open the factory somewhere else where there's a functional economy. You know, somewhere where the brave leave the factory floor to start their own successful businesses instead of trying to punish people for employing them.

  • will294 - 2011-07-11 11:18

    And still we have more and more strikes asking for untenable and ridiculous wage increases - ensuring that more companies have to reduce staff numbers or closing down altogether !

  • Lekker Jan - 2011-07-11 11:20

    "SA's unemployment rate increased from about 7% in the mid-1970s to 13% in the mid-1990s and 25% in the late 2000s." Following this trend, it should be around 50% by 2020.

      sabc10 - 2011-07-11 17:20

      the unofficial figure should be much higher

  • DoublySalmon - 2011-07-11 11:22

    So did the NP do a better job than the ANC perhaps? People were employed 7% vs. 25%, living longer by +12 years, higher human development index (was increasing and has stagnated), better distribution of income (gini coefficient). Seems that AA and the ANC is more oppressive than Apartheid and the NP by all objective measures.

      Nkulekweni - 2011-07-11 12:48

      DoublySalmon Black unemployed people were simply not counted as unemployed in SA because they were supposed to be in the Homelands. The unofficial unemployment rate of +- 45% is more of a true reflection of the scale of unemployment both under the apartheid government and the post apartheid one. South Africa has had jobless growth from the mid-1990s. What is needed looking forward, not back, are viable job creation policies.

      Phil - 2011-08-10 11:40

      @ Nkulekweni Absolutely right, good balanced sensible comment. Very refreshing>

  • Vince.York - 2011-07-11 11:25

    AND for the most part - a large percentage of all this unemployment is unnecessary and could have been avoided merely by change in policies and attitudes against a huge section of South African society - the marginalized whites! A equally large portion of unemployment could have been averted by preventing the prevalence of nepotism and corruption. GO think it through!

  • nixcroft - 2011-07-11 11:27

    and we are told how "wonderful" freedom would be...freedom with no food, no job, no house, no electricity, no water... a free T-shirt and the "right" to draw a cross next to someone else name is worth it all...wonderful isn't it ?

  • ZACommentator - 2011-07-11 11:29

    Not hard to reason why if one looks at the crazy conditions of employment. Scale down pay good workers a little more and drop the lazy ones who demand demand demand. And when one needs semi-skilled, look hard and wide before committing to any as the labour law is with the lazy worker.

  • Dominic - 2011-07-11 11:39

    Wonder how much the population has increased since the mid-70s. It may be interesting to compare it with the unemployment rates. If it matches then the problem is not financial or political but cultural. We may need a one-child policy like China.

      Nasdaq7 - 2011-07-11 13:55

      That's a great idea. We are part of BRICS.

  • NV - 2011-07-11 11:57

    I think we should give the unions a few businesses to run. Give them a taste of their own stupidity.

  • hawksnr - 2011-07-11 12:00

    Yeah, and every day a couple of million babies are conceived........ in 19-20 years time they become this system's problem. South Africans are screwing themselves out of a job!!!!!

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-07-11 12:04

    Minimum wages.

  • 4SA - 2011-07-11 12:17

    Please for the sake of the worker can someone get this into the heads of the trade unions? We are destroying SA for the union bosses salaries, the worker looses again. Second Zim here we come

      Zionist - 2011-07-11 19:38

      Sad but true.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-07-11 13:05

    Economics 101: the capitalist system allocates money and resources to territories where labor is the cheapest and resources are readily available such as electricity, water etc. in other words some competitive advantage is present. Now if minimum wages are imposed - areas that have extreme poverty, do not get money flowing to them because their wages have been set at a level that most businesses there cannot afford to pay to workers. So consequently only the wealthier cities develop. The poor territories and cities deteriorate because money and investment do not flow to there, where it is most urgently needed. They loose jobs and investment and income. And it gets worse the higher the minimum wage is increased. Wealth becomes concentrated in wealthy cities that can afford those wages. Investment in light industry that pays lower wages is impossible. Those businesses that are usually situated in poor industrialized zones - simply cannot develop as the labor there is too expensive to produce light industrial manufactured goods.

  • ZACKIE - 2011-07-11 13:49

    unions and anc led policy is root cause of poverty and unemployment

  • Virginia - 2011-07-11 14:47

    Is it not proof by the percentages og unemployment that the Labour Laws are all so wrong. People stop supporting China and the rest of the imports, only buy Made In SA and Mr Gordhan start collecting your taxes from those street vendors so that people can be employed to keep our country clean and try and support themselves via Tourism. This government and Unions are to blame for all the unemployment in this country, and stop blaming it on the White nation and apartheid take responsibility for you rotten action in the past 20 years.

      sabc10 - 2011-07-11 17:19

      Made in south africa is overpriced,poor quality,made by apartheid beneficieries...made in south africa supports and benefits rich minority who continue to give themselves raises of 25% or even 300%. Made in south africa is anticompetive.It uses price fixing and supports big business.Big business has been milking the consumer dry. Billionaires have been created that have been doing money laundering and taking their money to other countries to invest eg Australia and UK Made in South Africa is tainted with the blood and sweat of non white south africans and profited enormously from the consumers.

  • sabc10 - 2011-07-11 15:00

    "let the poor eat cake" and "drink bottled water" SA is definitely not one of the fastest growing economy in Africa SA is setting itself up for a mother of all revolutions.

  • sabc10 - 2011-07-11 15:07

    "let the poor eat cake"

  • ShakaN - 2011-07-11 16:51

    That must mean that most of the country will be unemployed looking at what our educations system is producing.

  • Wes - 2011-08-10 10:19

    Machines don't strike. But you need educated people running them.. i think that is what is happening here.

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