Job seekers wait in line to apply for part-time, full-time or seasonal positions at a job fair held at Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Fla.
JOHANNESBURG - If you’re on the lookout for a job in the new year, your chances of finding one are higher in the Western Cape with the Free State province having the least job opportunities.

This according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) for the first quarter of 2018 released this morning.

The Study found that job opportunities in the Restaurants & Hotels and the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing sectors are higher.

Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup SA, said employers in the Western Cape continue to focus on job creation.

“The Western Cape continues to attract visitors and tourists in the first few months of the year, as the South African summer reaches its peak. This could continue to have a positive effect on hiring intentions among the province’s employers.”

“The Cape Town International Convention Centre has already secured 58 major international events up until 2022, which could also be assisting with job creation in the coming months,” explains van den Barselaar.

Western Cape employers reported the strongest hiring intentions with a net employment Outlook of +10%, while some hiring opportunities are anticipated in KwaZulu Natal, with an outlook of +6%.

Elsewhere, employers report modest hiring plans with outlooks of +5% in both Eastern Cape and Gauteng. However, Free State employers forecast flat hiring activity, reporting an Outlook of 0%.

The report further found that South African employers report conservative hiring intentions for the January-March time frame. With 15% of employers expecting to increase staffing levels, 8% forecasting a decrease and 75% anticipating no change.

Meanwhile, the study found that hiring plans improve in six of the 10 industry sectors when compared with the previous quarter. Agriculture, hunting, forestry & fishing sector employers report the most notable increase of 13 percentage points, while outlooks are 5 percentage points stronger in both the mining & quarrying sector and the public & social sector.

Meanwhile, hiring prospects weaken in four sectors, including the manufacturing sector, with a considerable decline of 16 percentage points.

The construction sector outlook is 6 percentage points weaker, while electricity, gas & water supply sector employers report a decline of 5 percentage points. Van den Barselaar said there was a great appetite for skilled agriculture workers.

“The need for further education and training, investment and development in the South African agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors has been gaining traction in recent months.”