South Africa created about 59 000 new formal jobs for people in the nonagricultaral sector during the third quarter of this year, the latest quarterly employment statistics survey (QES), undertaken by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), showed on Tuesday.
This was a 0.7% change when compared with the employment statistics of the second quarter ended in June.
The QES also pointed to a quarterly increase of 7.3% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the sector between May and August. The estimated average salaries paid increased to R13 005, up from an average of about R12 123.
There was also a year-based increase of 10.1% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the sector between August 2010, and August this year. Earnings increased to R13 005 a month, when compared with R11 808 a month for the same period last year.
“The bulk of South Africa’s unemployment is structural, due to mismatches between skills, demand and location, rather than being cyclical, which relates to the strength or weakness of economic activity. Even in the heady growth year of 2007, the maximum number of jobs created in a quarter in the formal sector was 67 000, highlighting the inability of the formal sector to provide employment for the vast numbers that need it,” Investec Group Economics commented in a statement.
Including the informal and agricultural sectors, Statistics SA estimated that the number of employed persons had risen to 13.3-million, with 624 000 individuals employed in the agriculture (hunting, forestry and fishing) sector.
“The modest pace of formal sector job creation does not diminish the argument for an interest rate cut, but it must also be remembered that there is very little that monetary policy can do to reduce structural unemployment – it is the task of education and economic policies, as well as labour policy,” Investec said.
The QES reported that the mining and quarrying industry saw a year-on-year increase of 16 000 employees (3.2%) in September, and a quarter-on-quarter increase of 4 000 employees (0.8%).
The manufacturing industry reported a year-based decrease of 8 000 employees (-0.7%) in September, compared with the same month of 2010, while there was a quarter-on-quarter increase of 3 000 employees (0.3%).
“This was mainly due to increases in employment in manufacturing of other food products, the manufacturing of nonmetallic mineral products not classified elsewhere, manufacturing of furniture and the manufacture of special purpose machinery,” Stats SA said in its QES report.
The electricity, gas and water supply industry reported a yearly increase of 2 000 employees (3.5%) in September, when compared with September 2010, while there was a quarterly decrease of 1 000 employees (-1.7%).
The construction industry employed 28 000 (6.9%) more people in the September quarter, when compared with the same period last year, while there was an increase of 15 000 employees (3.6%) when compared with the June quarter. This was mainly due to increases in employment in building of complete constructions and building installation.