Durban – The latest Quarterly Employment Statistics show that the trade industry bore the brunt of job losses, with a decrease of 36 000 jobs.
The Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES, Q1:2023) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday revealed that total employment in the formal non-agricultural sector decreased by 21 000 in the first quarter of 2023, bringing the level of employment to almost 10 million.
The survey showed 97 000 jobs were lost between March 2022 and March 2023.
In the first quarter of 2023, the QES survey reported a decline in total employment by 21 000 jobs compared with the previous quarter.
This decrease was observed across various sectors, while some experienced job gains. The trade industry’s job losses were followed closely behind by those in the business services sector with a decline of 32 000 jobs.
The survey stated that the transport and construction industries both experienced a reduction of 2 000 jobs in this quarter. Five out of eight industries – business services, construction, transport, trade and electricity – have not returned to pre-pandemic employment levels.
The survey revealed that a decrease in full-time employment was observed in the first quarter of 2023, with 63 000 jobs lost from December 2022 to March 2023. Job losses were recorded in the business services industry with a decline of 57 000 jobs, followed by the trade industry with a decrease of 14 000 jobs. The community services industry experienced a loss of 5 000 jobs, while the transport industry saw a reduction of 3 000 jobs.
The survey found that part-time employment saw a noteworthy surge of 42 000 jobs quarter-on-quarter, rising from 1 110 000 in December 2022 to 1 152 000 in March 2023.
The survey found that total gross earnings paid to employees decreased by R34.1 billion, dropping from R864.2 billion in December 2022 to R830bn in March 2023. Several industries experienced significant decreases in total gross earnings.Basic salary/wages paid to employees decreased by R11.8bn or a decline of -1.6%, dropping from R751.2bn in December 2022 to R739.4bn in March 2023.
Bonus payments to employees experienced a significant decline of R22.5bn, decreasing from R89.5bn in December 2022 to R66.9bn in March 2023. Multiple industries reported decreases in bonus payments.
The survey found that overtime payments paid to employees experienced a marginal increase of R0.2bn, rising from R23.5bn in December 2022 to R23.7bn in March 2023.
Conversely, the manufacturing industry, construction industry, and transport industry reported decreases in overtime payments.
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