The economy shed 34 654 jobs in August, with the biggest losses occurring in permanent jobs, Adcorp said yesterday.
A total of 26 820 permanent jobs and 12 845 temporary jobs were lost during the month.
Adcorp, a listed provider of staffing and human capital services, said in its employment index that job losses were observed mainly in mining, construction, transport and financial services. These sectors accounted for a total of 26 000 job losses.
It said that since January, the formal sector had shed 186 303 jobs while the informal sector had created 47 917 jobs.
Loane Sharp, the labour economist at Adcorp, said absence due to sickness had increased sharply in South Africa over the past decade.
He said: “In 2013, at any given point in time 3.7 percent of workers were on sick leave, whereas a decade earlier, in 2001, 0.7 percent of workers were absent from work due to sickness.”
Sharp continued: “In 2013, 3.96 million workers were absent due to sickness during the year, up from 0.7 million in 2000 – an increase of 466 percent – despite the fact that the number of people employed was essentially flat over the decade.
“Between 2009 and 2011, one-quarter of all workers took up in full the maximum statutory allowance for sick leave, that is 36 days in a three-year cycle.”