Employment in the formal nonagricultural sector of the South African economy edged up marginally during 2015, with increases recorded over the past three quarters, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) revealed on Wednesday.
The latest Stats SA Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey showed the number of employees increased by 43 000, or 0.5%, to 8.99-million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
This represented an increase of 6 000 year-on-year, or a rise of 0.1% in 2015, compared with the year to December 2014.
Unpacking the results of the QES at a media briefing in Pretoria, Statistician-General Dr Pali Lehohla said mining jobs continued to decline, showing a year-on-year decrease of 5.9%, or 29 000 employees, to 462 000 by December 2015.
On a quarterly basis, the QES showed the number of employees in this sector contracting by 14 000 in the fourth quarter, after declining by 13 000 in the third quarter.
The construction and transport industries also recorded decreases in employment during the period under review.
The construction sector saw a quarter-on-quarter drop of 8 000 and a year-on-year fall of 19 000, while the transport sector registered employment declines of 2 000 and 6 000 quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year respectively.
In the manufacturing sector, the number of employees declined by 4 000 quarter-on-quarter and 5 000 year-on-year.
However, the trade, finance and other business services and community and social services industries registered quarterly gains of 2.3%, 0.8% and 0.5% respectively to 1.9-million, two-million and 2.5-million.
On a year-on-year basis, the trade industry recorded an increase in employees of 36 000, while the finance and other business services sector increased employment by 22 000 and the community and social services industry added 7 000 employees between December 2014 and December 2015.
The electricity industry remained unchanged overall.
Meanwhile, gross earnings paid to employees in the formal nonagricultural sector during the December quarter increased by 6.3% on the prior quarter to R526.7-billion – a 5.9% year-on-year increase on the comparable quarter of the prior year.
While increases in gross earnings were recorded in every surveyed industry, the most gains were seen in the manufacturing, electricity, construction and trade industries.
Monthly earnings, on average, increased 6.7% year-on-year and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter to R17 517 in November 2015, with the largest quarterly growth contributors emerging from the electricity sector with a 7.9% rise, mining with a 4.6% increase and manufacturing rising 2.3%.
In contrast, average monthly earnings in the transport, community and social services and finance and other businesses industries declined quarter-on-quarter by 6.3%, 1.9% and 1.5% respectively.
The trade and construction industries decreased 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.