13 March 2012
After rising by 5.0 percent in January, employment in South Africa registered an annualised growth rate of 1.5 percent in February, according to the latest Adcorp Employment Index, released on Monday.
The index is regarded as the most representative barometer of employment trends in South Africa.
During the month, the economy created 24 000 jobs, slowing from the 80 000 jobs created in January.
Most of the jobs were created in the informal sector, about 22 000 or 91.7 percent of the total, Adcorp reported.
In the formal sector, employment growth was strongest in the manufacturing sector, with 5.3 percent, the construction sector, with 4.7 percent, and the wholesale and retail trade, with 3.5 percent.
This was the first time in more than 12 months that job growth in the production-oriented sectors exceeded job growth in the consumption-oriented sectors.
Mining employment, however, continued to shrink, with a loss of 3 000 jobs in February.
High-skilled employment – that of senior managers and professions – reported the strongest growth in terms of occupational categories.
It grew 5.3 percent, whereas low-skilled employment, trades and elementary workers, reported the steepest decline. It registered -1.3 percent.
About 68 percent of all South African workers were employed by small businesses employing fewer than 50 people.
Against this backdrop, 440 000 small business closures were observed over the past five years, according to Adcorp, while the number of new business start-ups had fallen to an all-time low.
Adcorp noted that the small business sector was the most important originator of jobs in SA.