The number of South Africans employed was up about 43 000 in the last quarter of 2015, and workers enjoyed average wages almost 7% higher than the year before.
According to Statistics SA, there was an estimated 8 992 000 jobs reported in the formal non-agricultural sector in December 2015. This was an increase of 43 000 employees or 0,5% quarter-to-quarter and an increase of 6 000 employees or 0,1% year-on-year.
Quarterly employment gains were observed in three industries, namely Trade (42 000 or 2,3%), Finance & Other Business Services (16 000 or 0,8%) and Community & Social Services (13 000 or 0,5%).
The same industries also recorded year-on-year growth, with Trade increasing by 36 000 employees, Finance & other business services by 22 000 employees and Community & Social Services by 7 000 employees year-on-year.
The quarterly growth in trade was driven by Retail trade which grew by 34 000 and Hotels & Restaurants which grew by 6 000.
Mining continued to decline in the fourth quarter by 14 000 employees, this followed a decline of 13 000 observed in the third quarter. Mining also declined year-on-year by 29 000 or -5,9%.
Construction declined both quarter-to-quarter (8 000) and year-on-year (19 000). A similar pattern was observed in Transport which also declined both quarter-to-quarter (2 000) and year-on-year (6 000).
Gross earnings paid in December 2015 reflected a quarterly increase of R31-billion or 6,3% and an annual increase of R29-billion (+5,9%) in December 2015 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The changes in gross earnings in all industries were due to increases in salaries, payment of bonuses, overtime payments, commission and/or leave pay.
Average monthly earnings increased by 0,7% to R17 517 quarter to quarter and increased by 6,7% year-on-year. The largest growth in average monthly earnings was observed in Electricity (7,9%), Mining (4,6%) and Manufacturing (2,3%).
Quarterly declines in average monthly earnings were observed in Transport (-6,3%), Community & Social Services (-1,9%), Finance & Other Business Services (-1,5%), Trade (-0,3%) and Construction (-0,2%).