SA employers plan to increase staff, employment survey shows

EMPLOYERS in SA are planning to increase staffing levels in the coming quarter of the year, providing some glimmer of hope in an environment characterised by high and long-term unemployment, according to an employment survey released on Monday.

Job opportunities will be strongest in the manufacturing; transport, storage and communication; and electricity, gas and water supply sectors, and weakest in mining.

Global workforce solutions ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook for the second quarter rose to 13% from 10% in this quarter — its strongest since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Manpower SA MD Lyndy van den Barselaar said the latest survey indicated some sectors were still creating jobs despite challenges such as power outages. Investing in education and skills development would give people a better chance at finding jobs, she said.

Of the 750 employers surveyed in SA as part of the global employment survey, 18% expected to hire more employees in the second quarter, 7% forecast retrenchments and the majority anticipated unchanged workforce numbers.

KADD Capital economist Elize Kruger said the fact that the majority of employers still preferred to keep their headcount unchanged was in line with “the mediocre economic growth outlook” for the local economy.

Employers would “play safe” and refrain from adding staff in an environment of energy supply constraints, she said.

The weak hiring opportunities in mining and quarrying were not surprising given headwinds in the sector including output disruptions from strikes, weak demand and lower commodity prices.

Ms van den Barselaar said it was important for strikes and industrial challenges to be resolved and effective policies and plans put into place to encourage further investment into SA and create jobs.

Ms Kruger found it surprising that manufacturing was among the sectors where jobs would be created, given it was one of the hardest hit by load shedding. But Manpower

SA attributed expectations for manufacturing to add more jobs to private-sector investments.

Ms van den Barselaar said the likes of Samsung and Huawei, which had established plants in SA and created thousands of jobs, were also contributing.

Load shedding had contributed to increased employment as businesses in manufacturing were installing and maintaining alternative energy sources.

The developments in manufacturing were supporting jobs growth in transport, storage and communication; and electricity, gas and water supply sectors.

The 750 employers who participated in the survey were categorised into one of four organisation sizes: micro businesses with less than 10 employees; small businesses with 10-49 employees; medium businesses with 50-249 employees; and large businesses with 250 or more employees.

Across the globe, second-quarter hiring confidence was strongest in Taiwan, India, Japan and Panama. The weakest forecasts were in Italy and Brazil. – BDLive