Increase in non-agricultural sector employment - Stats SA

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretoria - Eighteen thousand jobs were created in South Africa's formal non-agricultural business sector between the quarters ended September and December 2009, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday.

It its December 2009 Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) Stats SA said the survey had shown that the number of people employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of the country's economy increased by about 18 000 persons (or +0,2 percent) from September 2009 (an estimated 8 143 000 employees) to December 2009 (an estimated 8 161 000 employees).

This is relative to the previous quarter that job losses in this sector came in at 98 000 in the third quarter of 2009.

Additionally the gross earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural business sector increased between the same quarters.

"The gross earnings paid to employees during the quarter ended December 2009 (October 2009 to December 2009) amounted to R294 509 million. This reflects a quarterly increase of R31 485 million (or +12, 0 percent) compared with the quarter ended September 2009 (July 2009 to September 2009)," reported Stats SA.

However employment in the formal non-agricultural business sector decreased between the quarters ended December 2008 and December 2009.

"The December 2009 Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey shows that an estimated 8 161 000 people were employed in the formal non-agricultural business sector of the South African economy. This reflected an annual decrease of about 351 000 employees (or -4.1 percent) compared with December 2008 (an estimated 8 512 000 employees)," said Stats SA.

When coming to gross earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural business sector this increased between the quarters ended December 2008 and December 2009. According to Stats SA, in the December 2009 quarter gross earnings that were paid to employees amounted to R294 509 million.

"This reflects an annual increase of R20 552 million (or +7.5 percent) compared with the quarter ended December 2008 (October 2008 to December 2008)," said Stats SA.

Commenting on the figures Standard Bank said:" Today's data reflect labour market conditions that are slowly being nursed back to health. However, the labour market's lagging indicator characteristics suggest that a substantial revival is only likely to ensue once economic conditions are more labour absorbing. Softness in employment growth is thus likely to endure for some time."

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