Statistics South Africa’s employment report for the first quarter of 2019 showed full-time employment grew by 34 000 jobs in the first three months of the year.
The news seems to be in stark contrast to a report they released a couple of weeks prior stating the South African economy had shrunk by 3.2% over the same time period.
The South African #economy declined by 3,2% in Q1:2019 compared with Q4:2018 mainly driven by declines in #manufacturing & #mining. This is the largest quarterly drop in about 10 years #StatsSA #GDP https://t.co/EdEV4ONBwq pic.twitter.com/89O3NKX55S
— Stats SA (@StatsSA) June 4, 2019
However, while more jobs is a positive thing the report into employment is not all good news.
Total earnings paid out to employees fell to R688 billion from R728 billion in December, a drop of 5.6%. So even though there are more people working, there is actually far less money circulating around the economy.
Key employment findings
While full-time employment has risen by 34 000 jobs over the last three months, part-time employment has decreased by 12 000 jobs.
That isn’t even the full picture either, as part-time employment has dropped 4.9%, or 54 000 jobs, over the last 12 months.
In terms of the growth of full-time employment, mining and quarrying added proportionately the most at 1.3% or 6 000 jobs, while the trade industry supplied the highest number of new jobs at 12 000, which was just a 0.6% rise in that industry.
The electricity and construction industries both shed 1 000 fulltime employment positions.
Overall, full-time employment has grown by 130 000 jobs over the last 12 months, which will be music to the ears of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who leaned on the jobs issue strongly during his State of the Nation Address.
The important thing for government now is to seize the momentum and create the conditions that will lead to more jobs.
The contracting economy is not going to make it easy for the private sector to continue creating jobs, so any help they can get will go a long way.