280711 Houtkop resident Bongani Madume(28) is amongst the unemployment statistic. Africa.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 3

JOHANNESBURG  - Employoment in South Africa's formal non-agricultural sector fell by 0.2 percent  or 16,000 jobs to 9.733 million in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.

The number however reflects a 0.2 percent or 17,000 increase over the same quarter in 2017, Statistics South Africa said.

It said the quarter-on-quarter employment decline was mainly driven by the manufacturing industry which lost 7,000 jobs or 0.6 percent, while construction shed 5,000 jobs or 0.8 percent and mining was down 2,000 jobs, as was the trade industry. Other losses were in the transport and community services sectors.

Job gains were recorded in business services industry, where employment was up by 2,000 while the electricity sector was unchanged from the second quarter.

Stats SA said total earnings paid to employees increased by R26 billion or 4.2 percent to R653 billion in the three months to September compared to the previous quarter. This reflected a rise of R35 billion or 5.6 percent over the same period last year.

- African News Agency (ANA)