Recession Destroys Thousands of SA Jobs - September 2009
In the first six months of this year, the recession has claimed 253 000 jobs in the formal sector in South Africa. The figures were recently released in Statistics SA’s Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) Report. It stated that the number of formal employees, excluding the agricultural sector, was 8.25 million in June this year, compared with 8.51 in December 2008.
The QES breaks down the job losses according to sectors. It shows that employment in the manufacturing sector fell by 6.3% to 1.2 million people. This loss of 14 000 jobs was mainly in the wood products, paper, printing, base metals production and fabricated metal sectors. In the construction sector, employment fell by 4.9%; in wholesale and retail trade it fell by 3.6%; in the financial, real estate and business sectors it fell 4.2% and in the transport sector it dropped by 1.9%.
This year the South African government provided an employment “cushion”, creating 82 000 jobs in the months from January until June 2009. If not for this, the amount of jobs lost would have been eveon more pronounced.
As it stands, those who have lost jobs face a difficult task in finding employment, as most sectors have shrunk. Although the pace of job losses is reportedly slowing, it is not being balanced by the creation of new jobs at this point.
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