After the bad news delivered by Statistics South Africa that the South African economy contracted in the third quarter, the Manpower survey of hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020 does not provide any relief for job seekers, as they report that employers are looking to add to their staff at the weakest level in five years. File Image: IOL
JOHANNESBURG -  After the bad news delivered by Statistics South Africa that the South African economy contracted in the third quarter, the Manpower survey of hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020 does not provide any relief for job seekers, as they report that employers are looking to add to their staff at the weakest level in five years.

The Manpower Group is the third-largest staffing firm in the world behind Swiss firm Adecco and Dutch firm Randstad and the survey was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of some 750 employers, and is based on how employers expect employment to change in the first quarter compared with the current quarter. 

The survey showed that South African employers still intend to add to their staffing levels despite the contraction headlines. While 10% of employers forecast an increase in payrolls, 8% anticipate a decrease and 81% expect to make no changes. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Outlook stands at +2%, and is the weakest reported in more than five years. Hiring plans remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter, but decline by 3 percentage points in comparison with the same period last year.

“As we move into the New Year, the South African economy continues to be affected by subdued economic growth and a sluggish growth outlook. Policy uncertainty and a high unemployment rate remain a deep concern for local businesses who are looking to the new year with caution when it comes to their spending and hiring strategies,” said Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup SA. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE