Employment stats show short-term increase and long-term decrease

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Employment in the private non-agricultural businesses showed some improvement in the last quarter of 2022.

According Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Employment Statistics, total employment increased by 48 000 on a quarterly basis, from 9 920 000 in September to 9 968 000 in December 2022.

The largest contribution to the increases in the quarter came from trade, business services and mining.

Stats SA | Seasonal employment helped boost job creation in the fourth quarter:

Stats SA says that total employment decreased by 94 000 on a year-on-year basis between December 2021 and December 2022.

Andrew Levy, a labour law expert, says, “If we have a look at the long term trend and we look at it since 2010 or 2012 – never mind the small fluctuations from year-to-year – the trend is down. There is no question that over the last decade, we have lost hundreds and thousands of jobs, unemployment has grown and it has grown very significantly. It’s a national disaster at the moment.”

Levy says the growth needs to be consistent before the good story can be told.

“Now, before we can turn around and say we have concurred unemployment it’s going to take two three years of positive growth,” adds Levy.