SA on brink of jobs recession

2012-09-10 11:39

Johannesburg - South Africa faces a real prospect of a jobs recession, recruitment group Adcorp said on Monday, as employment numbers fell for the third month.

"Most of the job losses during August were in the formal sector, which shed 14 382 jobs," Adcorp said in a statement.

"Permanent employment fell by 7 688 during the month, whereas agency employment increased by 1 083."

According to the Adcorp Employment Index, employment fell at an annualised rate of 0.23%, following sharp declines of 3.1% in May, 2% in June, and stalled employment numbers in July.

After three months of falling employment, a jobs recession was a real prospect.

This occurs when there are six consecutive months of employment declines.

There was a trend towards the use of agency temps, and away from in-house temps as part of labour risk outsourcing.

Trade, transport, finance and community services - the services sectors - gained 14 000 jobs.

But the primary and secondary sectors, including mining, manufacturing and construction, shed 16 000 jobs.

Adcorp's index of informal sector employment rose by 2%.

This was the 14th consecutive monthly rise.

South Africa's labour law environment was ranked 143 out of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. Previously, South Africa was ranked 133rd.

It was the worst country for labour-employer conflict, second worst for hiring and firing practices, and fifth-worst for wage flexibility.

Restrictions on the use of temporary workers was the most problematic of the proposed additions to labour laws and regulations, said Adcorp economist Loane Sharp.

These workers could only sue the temp agency - their employer - at present. If the proposed amendments were passed, both the employer and the client - the company for whom the work was performed - would be liable, he said.

Although the intention was to give temps the same rights to legal recourse as other workers, clever commercial contracting would scupper this.

The provision that work of equal value would receive equal pay was also problematic.

The intention was that temps should receive the same remuneration and benefits as permanent workers.

"The unintended consequence will be that remuneration and benefits of all workers will be reduced to the lowest common denominator, so that benefits such as medical aids and pension funds will become more, not less, scarce," he said.

"This ‘race to the bottom' will be fuelled by the prospect of severe penalties for non-compliance, ranging from 2% of company turnover for a first offence to 10% of turnover for repeat offences."

A further amendment would require employers to provide financial security in order to review labour decisions.

This would prevent employers' access to justice.

"South Africa's labour laws favour older, less skilled, unionised workers at the expense of young and inexperienced job-seekers," he said.

"The unintended consequence of all this will be an acceleration of employers' plans to introduce mechanisation and automation in the form of capital equipment and technology, reducing the economy's labour intensity and creating additional unemployment."

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  • thando.gqabaza - 2012-09-10 12:04

    The Zuma government has made it easy for China to enter here , thus we are shedding jobs. So not only has he FAILED to create the 500 000 jobs he promised, he made things worse.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-09-10 12:19

      ..and the shocking fact is that the Chinese enter a paradise when they step onto South African soil. They work much harder for much less money back home...

      norman.depluhm - 2012-09-10 13:25

      Absolutely right you are! I've banged on about the perils we face from getting too cozy with the chinese before, and now it's coming out that pretty much all of their 'investment' here, does not benefit SA at all. Entire factories being built with chinese materials, labourers, construction companies and equipment shipped in, only to be run by 80% chinese employees locally, with only export based goods. What we are is a geographical location closer to their main clients, with absolutely no red tape in exchange for small 'fees' (kickbacks). The ANC wants us to believe that sino-african relations are needed and that the socialist agenda works. Sure it works, for the political top dogs, and only them...

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-10 13:41

      And this award goes to none other than the anc 100%

      adam.gardener.12 - 2012-09-10 14:32

      And the chinese clothes are available from.....woolworths, which makes woolworths responsible for part of this mess.

      john.zen.33 - 2012-09-10 18:20

      One can now even buy "made in China" bottled asparagus,when we have farms upon farms that already plant and can plant them.I have no time for China,since they started investing in S.A rhino poaching increased dramatically.It's only a matter of time before they clear out our oceans,like they have done in China.Not to mention other resources. And the same thing happened in the U.S in the manufacturing industries.

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-10 12:06

    "South Africa's labour law environment was ranked 143 out of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report." - That's pathetic...

      eva.walle.75 - 2012-09-10 12:36

      It shows ...

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-09-10 12:06

    It is because we keep doing the same things , and expecting different result , we have many dumb people with std 3 making decissions and not only dumb they are nepotistic and corrupt on top of it. * Many want a Job/paycheck , but not many can create a Job. So is AA BEEE what you wanted??

  • jurie.nel.3 - 2012-09-10 12:10

    I have bad news. The figures are historical. We're not heading there - we're already there. And this well-researched article names all the reasons for the situation. The remedies are also clear and obvious - but I do not foresee the implementation of these remedies.

  • desertratbkf - 2012-09-10 12:12

    So cANCer! You proud of yourselves?

      arthur.hugh - 2012-09-10 13:49

      This is exactly what they want - keep them dumb and angry - everyone looking the other way while they steal from the cookie jar.

  • madoda.monamudi - 2012-09-10 12:13

    Government is failing young people, they fail to create job they are busy fighting themselves. The battle is about power and greedy. Mangaung

      steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-09-10 12:21

      Well said. You get what you vote for.

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-09-10 12:14

    carry on with increases of eskom and petrol

  • kobus.erasmus - 2012-09-10 12:19

    As long as Zuma's own pockets are being lined in $'s - why would he care ?

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-09-10 12:22

    South Africa's labour law environment was ranked 143 out of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. Previously, South Africa was ranked 133rd. It was the worst country for labour-employer conflict, second worst for hiring and firing practices, and fifth-worst for wage flexibility. >>>Yup, I can testify to that. It's one of the reasons I work for myself. Employers in SA generally treat their workers like crap.

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-09-10 12:24

    It does not come to a surprise as SA has been losing many jobs since 2010.\r\nInstead to create a business friendly environment, the government in the league with its allies has been pushing away investors.\r\nIt is time to move away from all the freaking rhetoric and populism.It is time for action, but I am afraid I dont see that happening soon.\r\nCheers.

  • Ken - 2012-09-10 12:43

    And soon we will see a number of mines closing down.

  • sidney.gilroy - 2012-09-10 13:05

    Well, if you have militant youth leader turned populist who has a dodgy matric with an F average and a president with grade 3 as his highest qualification...WHAT THE HELL WHERE YOU EXPECTING ????? They want to legislate the poor into riches and the unemployed into high-paying jobs. And guess what...the OPPOSITE is happening. Shame. Hayibo. Eish.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-10 13:32

    When Government decides to do its own homework and not be dictated to by Unions and listen for once to business people just maybe more jobs can be created. But nobody is going to employ somebody with a dodgy pass and put them in a managerial position, thats out of the question. Zero to hero tactics dont work. Under apartheid there were plenty jobs even if they were not well paid jobs, those people who worked as semi skilled and unskilled workers, got on the job training and some of thoses workers today run their own business and thats thanks to learning on job training. Business people used to have lots of workers they worked helping out there and helping out here. Now with all this labour nonsense, they have turned to automation and thats how the world is progressing. We will soon have little robots working in our houses, biddie beep biddie beep so its time to really sit down and think twice.

  • rick.kabose - 2012-09-10 13:39

    Ja well. African governments

  • KennySven - 2012-09-10 13:46


  • cirrus11 - 2012-09-10 14:49

    "South Africa's labour law environment was ranked 143 out of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. Previously, South Africa was ranked 133rd." SA's slide to failed state accelerates. Dr. Jan du Plessis: Argguing the future 2012 > 2017

  • heathway.master - 2012-09-10 14:53

    Unemployment can be reversed, and millions of new jobs created by Malema's statement of intending to make the mines ungovernable. This will according to him, bring economic freedom, and solve the massive unemploment situation in the country in no time at all.

  • peter.retief - 2012-09-10 15:38

    Now I know what the ANC meant in their election campaign that said "JOBS JOBS JOBS"

  • thepatrickwinter - 2012-09-10 16:30

    Zuma said we had the best service delivery in the world. Dont tell me our honorable President was fibbing, whatever next. LOL

  • denny.cray - 2012-09-11 11:12

    Now all we need to do is ban corporate profits and stick it to the greedy capitalists. ;)

  • chris.khanye - 2012-09-11 13:45

    Unfortunately, even Malema himself is ignorant of severity of a jobs recession. At what cost - mine workers are astounded by the dream of R12500 but oblivious to the negative impact of their illegal action? Job recession will reverberate in faraway villages soon. But then this is the worst we inherited from Polokwane 2008!

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-11 18:05

    Ladiiiiiies aaaand geentlemen!!! The beting has started. Any suggestions are valid. The very simple question if tonight iiiiiis; You guesed it!! What name is the ANC going to give "JOB RECESSION" when it happens?

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-09-12 12:54

    Who wants to flippen employ people who are so militant once they are employed? We get lots of people coming to our company every day looking for a "job" and they say they are prepared to work for anything - yet, once you employ them they turn against you and say "you are stealing our money"!!!! W T F

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