Total employment in SA’s non-agricultural formal sector grew by 16 000 between September and December 2019, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin. 

The is below the increase of 87 000 in the fourth quarter of 2018 

While full-time employment decreased by 2 000 over the three months to end 2019, part-time employment increased by 18 000. 

The QES results are based on a sample survey conducted by Stats SA and include findings on employment in the non-agricultural formal sector. The survey was conducted before the outbreak of the coronavirus. 

The QES bulletin is separate from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which is also published by Stats SA. While the labour force survey gives SA’s official unemployment rate, the QES gives a snapshot of total non-agricultural formal sector employment. According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, South Africa has an official unemployment rate of 29.1%. 

According to the QES, the decrease in SA’s full-time labour force was due to job losses in mining (-15 000), construction (-13 000), manufacturing (-5 000), transport (-2 000) and electricity (-1 000) in the fourth quarter of 2019. These were offset, in part, by increases in trade (29 000), community services (3 000), and business services (2 000 ).

In the part-time sector, jobs increased in trade (10 000), business services (10 000), manufacturing (1 000 or 1,3%) and electricity (1 000).


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