The number of employees in the formal non-agricultural sector of the South African economy increased from an estimated 8.94-million in September to an estimated 8.98-million in December, Statistics South Africa's (Stats SA's) Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey revealed on Tuesday. However, the indicators show that the construction sector shed 2% of its employee base over the quarter, dropping 10 000 jobs.
This reflected a quarterly increase of 42 000 employees, or 0.5%, but a yearly decrease of 20 000 employees, or 0.2%, on the December 2013 figure.
The number of employees in the trade industry increased by 29 000, or 1.6%, between September and December, while the business services industry added 22 000 jobs – a 1.1% lift.
The number of employees in the transport sector increased by 1.1%, or 5 000 in the last quarter of the year, while the manufacturing industry increased its employee base by 0.1%, or 1 000 jobs over the three months.
Meanwhile, gross earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector during the quarter ended December 31 increased by 7.4% on the prior quarter to R499-billion, reflecting a 7.6% or R35-billion increase on the comparable quarter of the prior year.
The increase was largely owing to increases in earnings in the business services, trade, manufacturing, community, transport and construction industries.
Average monthly earnings, including bonuses and overtime payments paid to employees increased by 0.6% between August and November.
"The QES survey also showed that an estimated monthly average of R16 470 was paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector in November.
"This reflects a quarterly increase of 0.6% between August and November and a yearly increase of 6.9% between November 2013 and November 2014," Stats SA said in a summary of its key findings.