South Africa records gains in employment

30 September 2014

South Africa recorded employment gains in both the formal and informal sectors whilst the unemployment rate decreased slightly and in the third quarter of 2014, according to the latest results from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Q3: 2014, shows 22 000 new jobs were created in South Africa between July and September 2014. The formal sector added 88 000 jobs whilst 28 000 jobs were created in the informal sector between Q2 and Q3.

Compared to Q3: 2013, employment increased by 81 000, largely due to increases in the formal and the informal sectors that grew by 134 000 and 85 000 jobs respectively in Q3: 2014.

Following a decrease of 122 000 jobs in Q1: 2014, employment increased by 39 000 in Q2: 2014 and by 22 000 in Q3: 2014. The quarterly increase in Q3: 2014 was 17 000 jobs lower than the increase in the previous quarter, according to the survey.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey is a household-based survey conducted by StatsSA. The survey is based on data collected on the labour market of individual South Africans aged between 15 and 64 years.

Notable gains in the formal sector were observed in the construction sector which added 66 000 jobs, the trade sector which gained 48 000 jobs and the mining sector which enlarged its workforce by 23 000. In the informal sector, the largest gains in employment were observed in construction (33 000), manufacturing (14 000) and transport (10 000) industries.

The gains in employment are reflected in the drop in the unemployment rate which shows a slight decrease from 25.5% in Q2: 2014 to 25.4% (0.1 of a percentage point) in Q3: 2014.

The survey indicates that the private household and the agricultural industries shed 83 000 and 54 000 jobs respectively. The number of unemployed people increased by 271 000, resulting in a 0.9 of a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate. Among the not economically active population, the number of discouraged job-seekers increased by 217 000 while the other not economically active increased by 52 000.

Employment declines were observed in the transport which lost 25 000 workers, the community and social services lost 22 000 jobs and manufacturing shed 18 000 people, according to the survey.

SAinfo reporter