Overall employment in South Africa has declined, and is expected to remain in negative territory until 2010 – however, communications and IT are among a few sectors still showing growth.
This was confirmed by the Adcorp Employment Index which shows a quarter-on-quarter decline of 12,9%. The environment is influenced by the substantial decline in macro-economic activity (17,1%) and the demand for labour that is down by 5,7%.
However, construction, logistics and warehousing, communications and information technology; government and personal services sectors remain robust and are showing net employment growth.
Adcorp Holdings chief executive Richard Pike comments: "The sectors that are under substantial strain and show employment losses are mining; manufacturing; retail and wholesale trade as well as finance, real estate and business services.
"There are, however, certain skills that remain in high demand – particularly in the financial services; engineering; natural and physical sciences; medical and health; education as well as information and communication technology sectors," says Pike.
Due to the economic environment, supply of skills is again marginally up by 0,5% and for the second consecutive quarter exceeds demand for skills in the country. This trend is expected to continue until the second or third quarter of 2010.
Notwithstanding the labour movement's pressure on employers for higher wages, the remuneration index is also down by 5.6% and is reflective of the pressures on the South African economy translating into pressure on remuneration trends.
Salary increases are currently tracking at between 8% and 9%, but are expected to decline to between the 6% to 8% levels by the end of 2009 in line with CPIX.
Pike adds that, although the Adcorp Employment Index is showing a sharp decline and trending downward, it is not in major negative territory yet.
"It is currently at the same levels as the first quarter of 2005.
"Although the overall supply of skills exceeds demand, shortages still exist in those sectors that are especially linked to our country's major infrastructure development projects; government; personal services and information & communications sectors."