Johannesburg - Employee confidence as measured by Solidarity's Labour Market Index (LMI) declined to 33.3 in the second quarter of 2014, the trade union said on Wednesday.

In the first quarter of this year, the figure stood at 45.2, said Paul Joubert, senior economic researcher at Solidarity's research institute (SRI).

Employee confidence is measured by surveying Solidarity members to determine how secure they feel in their jobs.

The other two components of the index are labour affordability and business cycle fluctuations.

They show what can be expected in the employment of staff and the affordability of staff.

“The sharp decline reflects the huge disruption caused by the strike in the platinum sector,” said Joubert.

“The effect of the strike was not merely felt by the mines alone, it also had a much wider ripple effect on suppliers of products and services to the mines.”

As a whole, the LMI declined from 44.3 to 39.3 in the second quarter.

A value of 50 represents the threshold between rising and falling job and wage security.

The findings were published by the SRI in the July-September issue of the SA Labour Market report.

“From the first to the second quarter, the group of respondents with the highest level of job security decreased from 32 percent to 22 percent, while the group with the lowest job security increased from 16 percent to 23 percent of all respondents.”

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum went on strike on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They agreed on a three-year wage deal on June 24. - Sapa