Primary sector job prospects weak
OPPORTUNITIES for job seekers in the third quarter of this year are expected to be weakest in the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing and the mining and quarrying sectors.
A ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released yesterday said employment would be strongest in the electricity, gas and water supply and the finance, insurance, real estate and business services sectors.
The survey said employers in KwaZulu-Natal reported the strongest intentions to hire more staff in the third quarter, while employers in the Eastern Cape and Free State reported the weakest hiring intentions.
It said 9 percent of the 750 employers polled said they expected an increase in staffing levels, 7 percent forecast a decrease and 83 percent said levels would not change.
ManpowerGroup SA managing director Lyndy van den Barselaar said: “As global and local economic uncertainty continues, many businesses remain cautious about increasing staffing levels. South Africa faced two downgrades in recent months, which further demonstrates market uncertainty, and which has resulted in businesses being more cautious in their spending and hiring activity. This is reflected in the fact that the majority of local employers said they anticipated no change in staffing levels for the upcoming quarter.”
The survey found that employers in all five regions said staffing levels would increase, with employers in KwaZulu-Natal reporting the strongest hiring prospects on a net employment outlook of plus 7 percent. The Western Cape and Gauteng recorded outlooks of plus 6 percent and plus 5 percent respectively.
“KZN remains a promising region for business development, with many local and international businesses looking to the region for expansion, especially those making use of its ports,” Van den Barselaar said.
Van den Barselaar said hiring prospects would weaken in four of the five regions polled, compared with the previous quarter, while outlooks would also decline year-on-year.
The survey said employers in eight of the 10 industry sectors said they expected to hire more people during the coming quarter, while two sectors reported outlooks of minus 1 percent. “As water shortages continue to plague parts of the country, individuals and businesses are investing in systems and technologies that enable them to save water. This means that those individuals and organisations that are creating, installing and maintaining these kinds of systems and technologies are more than likely experiencing an increase in demand and are therefore looking to hire,” Van den Barselaar said.
Regionally, notable optimism for the third quarter came from employers in the coastal and tourism provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, with a 7 percent and 6 percent outlook respectively.
The country’s unemployment rate increased to 27.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017.