Mining, manufacturing jobs drop by thousands despite broader employment gains - Stats SA
While the number of formally employed South Africans ticked upwards by nearly 400,000 in the third quarter of 2023, manufacturing and mining shed thousands of jobs, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
The Stats SA quarterly labour force survey released on Tuesday shows the number of employed people increased by 399,000 to 16.7-million in the third quarter of 2023 compared with 16.3-million in the second quarter.
However, while jobs in finance were up by 237,000, social services rose by 119,000 and agriculture jobs increased by 61,000, jobs in manufacturing dropped by 50,000, while jobs in mining fell by 35,000. Transport and utilities jobs were down by 20,000 and 16,000 respectively.
Mining lost 7.8% of its jobs in the third quarter while manufacturing lost 3.2%.
The decline in mining and manufacturing jobs brings into sharp focus the operational troubles at Transnet, which faces a R130bn debt burden, R5.7bn in losses and severe logistics constraints.
“The number of unemployed people decreased by 72,000 to 7.8-million during the same quarter,” Stats SA said.
“The number of people not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 160,000 to 13.1-million, while the discouraged work-seekers decreased by 26,000 in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. This resulted in a net decrease of 186,000 in the not economically active population.”
Stats SA acknowledged South Africa's youth remained vulnerable to unemployment as the total number of unemployed people between the ages of 15 and 34 decreased by 174,000 to a still-staggering 4.6-million in the third quarter.
Formal sector employment increased by 287,000 in the third quarter while informal sector employment increased by 29,000.
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