EMPLOYMENT: Jobs Down In January
Recent Western Cape Business News
Despite a broadening pattern of growth in economic activity in South Africa last month, employment remained generally weak with only temporary employment showing a more substantial increase of 6.1%.
This month’s Adcorp Employment Index, which reflects employment in South Africa during February, also reports that work in the formal sector remained in the doldrums, rising negligibly at an annual rate of just 1.4%, while permanent employment declined by 1.3%.
Government jobs increased by 5.5% with the increase mainly seen in local and provincial government. Conversely, manufacturing and financial services experienced the steepest declines, of -3.4% and -3.0% respectively.
Says Richard Pike, Adcorp’s Chief Executive Officer: “Much of the growth in temporary work can be attributed to the agency work sector which grew by 3.2%. This suggests that employers do not envisage the proposed labour law amendments progressing to legislation. It also insinuates that employers may well be reluctant to employ new staff on a permanent basis until there is clarity on the legislation.”
Pike adds that the increase in temporary jobs demonstrates that technological solutions, which are increasingly being used to manage temporary workforces, are having an impact.
This month’s Index confirms that the demand for high-skilled professionals remains, with 135 540 new jobs created on a net basis during February.
Meanwhile, demand for manufacturing-related jobs (such as machine operators and assemblers) remained weak, with 72 991 jobs destroyed during February.
Adds Pike: “Since 2000, South Africa’s temporary or part-time workforce has grown by 11.9% per annum, compared to an average annual decline of 1.5% in the permanent or full-time workforce.”
Historically, the management of temporary workforces has been subject to various challenges which limited the potential growth of this industry. As temporary employees are typically not on standard payroll systems, do not work typical hours and have variable reporting lines, employers have battled with monitoring and paying these staff. Similarly, many companies have not known even simple metrics such as the number of ‘temps’ employed and their average pay rate.
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