'The 22 000 jobs are really a drop in the ocean'

According to Statistic South Africa, the country’s non-agricultural formal sector employment grew by 22,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2019.

The service released its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics on Tuesday.

Last month, the quarterly employment statistics bulletin showed that between March 2018 and March 2019, total employment increased by 76,000 jobs or 0.8%.

Read: SA adds 22 000 jobs in first quarter of 2019 - Stats SA

To discuss these latest statistics, Bongani Bigwa chats to labour consultant Tony Healy.

The fact of the matter is, we are simply not creating the number of jobs necessary in terms of the size of the growing labour market. The 22 000 jobs are really a drop in the ocean when trying to absorb the 37% of the economically active population that is looking for jobs.

Tony Healy, Labour consultant

He adds that because there is not enough growth in the economy to create the jobs needed, companies are retrenching.

A lot of companies are retrenching because you have a digital self-service progression, which is taking away many jobs. There is a skills shortage, which is not producing enough skilled job applicants. You will find that the vast majority of the unemployed are largely unskilled.

Tony Healy, Labour consultant

Healy notes that even though there are developments in the job market that are out of the hands of politicians, there is a lot they can do to stem the tide of job losses.

Things like policy certainty, the drama around the Mining Charter and the cost of employment. The real cost of employment is about 30% higher than an employee's salary if you throw in other hidden costs. We have a labour regulation that makes labour flexibility extremely hard.

Tony Healy, Labour consultant

Listen below to the full interview:


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