Thousands of unemployed youth queue for the opportunity to hand in their CV at the Johannesburg Road Agency head office in the city centre. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

There were 48 000 South Africans who lost their jobs in the first quarter of this year, according to a quarterly release on the employment numbers released today by Statistics South Africa.


Industries that shed the most jobs were the trade industry which experienced 32 000 jobs losses in the period, followed by the business service industry with 23 000 employees, the community service industry with 8 000 employees, the manufacturing industry with 4 000 employees and the transport industry with 1 000 employees. Stats SA says the losses of jobs in these industries could be attributed to the end of contracts for workers who were employed during the festive season.


However, there were increases in employment reported in the construction industry with 12 000 employees and in the mining industry with 8 000 employees. 

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The loss of jobs also hit the total gross earnings paid to employees after they went down by R19 billion in the first three months of this year, a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to the previous quarter.  Total earnings paid to employees amounted to R588bn in March 2017, down from R607bn in December 2016.


The decreases in gross earnings were led by the manufacturing industry with employees losing out on R7.1bn in earnings; trade industry employees lost out on R6bn, while community services lost R4.5bn, closely followed by the construction industry with R4.4bn.  The employees in the transport industry lost out on R3.2bn and the electricity industry with R1.2bn.