Blow to economy: SA lost 67 000 jobs in the first quarter

South Africa lost close to 67,000 jobs in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, according to the latest quarterly employment report compiled by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

The total employment decreased by 67 000 or 0,6% quarter-on-quarter, from 10 731 000 in December 2023 to 10 664 000 in March 2024, according to the report.

The main sectors that were impacted were trade, business services and mining. There was an increase in employment in the manufacturing, transport and construction sectors.

Industries that lost jobs include: Trade with 57 000 jobs, Community services with 18 000 jobs, Business services with 4 000 jobs and Mining with 3 000 jobs.

Industries that gained jobs are: Manufacturing with 12 000 jobs, Transport with 2 000 jobs and Construction with 1 000 jobs.

Stats SA said that gross earnings paid to employees decreased by R35.1 billion or 3,5% from R993 billion in December 2023 to R957.9 billion in March 2024.

“This was due to decreases in the following industries: trade, community services, manufacturing, construction, transport, electricity and mining,” according to the report.

Stats SA noted that business services reported an increase of R9.3 billion. The report added that year-on-year (YoY) gross earnings increased by R43.5 billion (4,8%) between March 2023 and March 2024.

The report said that basic salary or wages paid to employees decreased by R6.7 billion (Q1) or from R855.6 billion in December 2023 to R848.9 billion in March 2024. (YoY)

It noted that the main reason for this decrease was the following industries: trade, manufacturing, construction, mining and business services.

“However, there were increases reported by the following industries: transport, electricity and community services.

Year-on-year basic salary/wages increased by R40.1 billion or 5,0% between March 2023 and March 2024,” Stats SA said. – IOL Business

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