Wed. Jul 24th, 2019

Revealed: Here’s the average salary in South Africa – it’s dropped by 1.9% this year

Average wage in South AfricaAlthough year-on-year growth looks a bit more positive, the last financial quarter has been a nightmare. The average salary in South Africa is declining.

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You win some, you lose some: That’s pretty much the life lesson we’re learning from the latest report on employment in South Africa. Although more jobs have been added to the market in the first quarter of 2019, it would seem like the average salary in South Africa has hit the skids.

Employment figures for Q1 2019

StatsSA’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. In fact, full-time employment has grown by 130 000 jobs over the last 12 months. But despite this upturn in form – in one of Cyril’s strongest suits – it’s not all good news.

There has been a small, but unavoidable drop in the average amount of money each worker makes in Mzansi. Wages are down by 1.9% from the end of 2018. Despite looking up from where we were this time last year, this drop coincides with some economic peril: GDP contracted by 3.2% in the first few months of this year:

Total average salary in South Africa by year:

Month and year Average salary in
South Africa (monthly)
Change from
previous quarter
February 2016 R17 262 -0.3%
November 2016 R18 723 +3.1%
February 2017 R18 913 +1%
November 2017 R20 193 +1%
February 2018 R20 092 -0.5%
November 2018 R21 256 0.3%
February 2019 R20 855 -1.9%

This recent data highlights the biggest quarterly decline for four years. A disastrous Q1 in 2019 seems to be having a knock-on effect for the rest of South Africa. Despite full-time employment staging a fightback, part-time employment has dropped 4.9% over the last 12 months, shedding more than 50 000 jobs in the process.

We thought we’d also break down what each monitored industry pays out towards its employees. The average wage differs across each section of the market, but almost all of them have one thing in common: The value has dropped within the past few months.

Average salary in South Africa by industry:

Mining and quarrying:

  • Average monthly wage: R24 118
  • Change from last quarter: -5.5%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +5.3%

Manufacturing

  • Average monthly wage: R18 167
  • Change from last quarter: -2.5%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +5%

Electricity, gas and water industries

  • Average monthly wage: R43 071
  • Change from last quarter: -2.4%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +10.6%

Construction

  • Average monthly wage: R15 899
  • Change from last quarter: -4.1%
  • Change from 12 months ago: -1.6%

Wholesale and retail trade: Cars, service industry, household goods

  • Average monthly wage: R13 675
  • Change from last quarter: -0.4%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +3%

Transport, storage and communication industries

  • Average monthly wage: R24 315
  • Change from last quarter: – 1.6%
  • Change from 12 months ago: + 4.6%

Financial sector: Insurance, real estate and business

  • Average monthly wage: R23 623
  • Change from last quarter: +0.1%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +3.8%

Community, social and personal services

  • Average monthly wage: R25 148
  • Change from last quarter: -3.47%
  • Change from 12 months ago: +4.4%

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