Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Aug 2011

LABOUR: More Jobs Lost Last Month


Recent Western Cape Business News

With employment in South Africa dropping for the third consecutive month during July, the South African economy is predicted to shed a massive 468 192 jobs in the remaining months of 2011 and in 2012 – half as much again as was shed during the recent recession.

Adcorp, South Africa’s leading human capital management group, released this forecast today in its monthly Employment Index for July, which shows that employment numbers during July slumped by 0,4% – a statistic equivalent to annual losses of 270 504 permanent and 79 380 temporary workers.

Meanwhile, Adcorp’s July numbers revealed that government employment continued to rise (by 1,4%) as did “unofficial” jobs, which grew at an annual rate of 191 124 during July.

Loane Sharp, Adcorp’s labour market analyst, says: “The public sector now accounts for all the job creation in our economy in 2011 while the growth in unofficial employment - coupled with the decline in official employment - reinforces a trend that has been in evidence since as far back as January 2000.

Employment declined most sharply in the mining (7,7%) and manufacturing (8,6%) sectors in spite of sharply rising export prices for commodities and basic beneficiated manufactured products.”

In this month’s Index, Adcorp notes that membership of South African trade unions has declined from 4,3 million in 2000 to 3,2 million in 2010, a trend which Sharp says is out of sync with the surge in strikes and work stoppages reported so far this year. Highlighting the 14,6 million strike-induced work days lost in 2010, Sharp says Adcorp’s research suggests that in 2011 this figure will rise by 22% to 17,8 million.

Already strikes are significantly ahead of 2010 levels on a year-to-date basis and, worryingly, 68% of strikes have been in the private sector. In previous years, strike actions were largely restricted to the public sector.

The unrest and conflict associated with strikes in South Africa ranked eighth-worst in the world in 2010, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the world’s foremost business research foundation.”

He regards this as “alarming”, since the post-apartheid era – and, especially, one of the first laws passed by the ANC government, the Labour Relations Act of 1995 (LRA) – was intended to usher in a period of industrial peace. Instead, this year South Africa will have nearly double the number of strikes and/or workdays lost due to strikes as was the case at the height of apartheid in the late 1980s.

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