SA's formal employment grows as factories cut jobs

Stats SA says job increases were recorded in the mining sector. (Paul Weinberg, Gallo)

Stats SA says job increases were recorded in the mining sector. (Paul Weinberg, Gallo)

Statistics SA said on Thursday job increases were recorded in the mining sector, while a fall was recorded in manufacturing.
 
Africa’s biggest economy is struggling to create jobs and reduce unemployment, which was 25.2% of the labour force in the first quarter.
 
Employment in the formal non-agricultural sector increased by about 5 000 to 8.384-million between December 2011 and March 2012, Stats SA said. Jobs were up 1.1% on a year-on-year basis.
 
The mining and quarrying industry reported a quarterly increase of 0.8% and an annual increase of 2.2%. But jobs in manufacturing, which accounts for about 15% of GDP, fell by 0.1% in quarter one compared with the previous three months and were down 0.3% year on year.
 
Turmoil in Europe, the main export market for manufactured goods, has hurt the sector.
 
South Africa lost a million jobs during a recession in 2009 and economic growth, seen at 2.7% this year, remains far below the 7% the government says is needed to significantly slash the unemployment rate.
 
South Africa’s labour force is far more expensive, yet less productive, than workers in emerging market rivals.
 
A close alliance between the ANC and unions has led to a raft of labour-friendly legislation that economists say is eroding the country’s competitiveness.
– Reuters

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