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4 000 jobs lost in NC

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In terms of expanded unemployment, the number of unemployed people in the Province is 234 000 - an increase of 11 000

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FOUR thousand jobs were lost in the Northern Cape with the number of employed dropping from 321 000 to 317 000 in the second quarter of this year.

At the same time, employment increased in six of the nine provinces, with the Western Cape recording the largest increase of 77 000 jobs.

This is according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released earlier this week by Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.

The official unemployment rate in the Province is 28.9%, while the expanded unemployment rate (which includes job seekers who have given up trying to find work) is 42.4% – an increase year on year of 1.4%. This is the third largest increase in the country. Nationally the expanded unemployment rate is 37.2%.

The total working age population of the Province (15 to 64 years) is 794 000. Of this number, 317 000 are employed, 129 000 are unemployed (a drop from the last quarter of 134 000), 348 000 are not economically active (an increase of 11 000 in comparison with the first quarter of this year), while the number of discouraged work seekers has also increased from 55 000 to 66 000 in the last three months.

In terms of expanded unemployment, the number of unemployed people in the Province is 234 000 – an increase of 11 000.

One of the biggest job losses was in the agricultural sector, where 4 000 less people were employed in the last quarter (a drop from 48 000 to 44 000). In the mining sector, 1 000 job losses were recorded, down from 24 000 to 23 000. The manufacturing sector in the Province also saw massive job losses, with 4 000 less people being employed in this sector (down from 15 000 to 11 000), while in the utilities sector, the number of job losses was also 4 000 from 9 000 in the first quarter of this year to 5 000 in the second quarter.

Jobs were also cut in the construction sector, with 2 000 posts cut from 26 000 to 24 000 and the finance section, which also saw 2 000 less people employed (from 26 000 to 24 000).

Job increases were recorded in the trade sector from 48 000 to 50 000, the transport sector from 10 000 to 11 000 and the community and social services sector from 95 000 to 105 000.

The number of people employed in private households remained unchanged at 20 000.

People in the Province employed in the formal sector increased from 225 000 to 226 000.

Nationally, the unemployment rate in the second quarter (April to June 2018) deteriorated markedly relative to the expectations of financial experts, climbing to 27.2% from 26.7% in the first quarter (January to March 2018) as the economy shed 90 000 jobs. This was despite the labour force growing by only 12 000 people in the quarter. The ranks of the unemployed swelled by 102 000 to just less than 6.1 million people while the number of discouraged work seekers increased by just under 77 000.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes discouraged work seekers rose from 36.7% in the first quarter to 37.2% in the second quarter.

The manufacturing, social, community and personal services, and wholesale and retail trade sectors accounted for the bulk of the job losses, with 105 000 (-5.7% * /* ), 93 000 (-2.5% * /* ) and 57 000 (-1.7% * /* ) jobs lost respectively.

The agriculture sector lost just over 3 000 jobs in the quarter, but has created 8 000 jobs from the same time last year, reflective of the improved farming conditions and the cessation of the drought.

FNB pointed out that contrary to expectations, the struggling mining sector added 38 000 jobs in the quarter while the equally embattled construction sector added 45 000 jobs. The transport and household sectors offset the losses by a further 75 000 jobs, but the financial, real-estate and business services sector saw 3 000 less roles.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise came from the electricity, gas and water sector (utilities), which added 18 000 jobs. In the context of lower energy demand and production, and a soaring wage bill, this holds significant risk not only for the utilities’ finances, but for fiscal consolidation.”