Labour Expected To Lose Steam


Following a cautiously optimistic third-quarter recovery, South Africa’s hiring pace is expected to slow down noticeably in the last four months of the year, according to the 750 employers who participated in the just released Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, South Africa’s Net Employment Outlook stands at a disappointing 0%, a 7 percentage point decline quarter-over-quarter and a 3 percentage point decline year-over-year. Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be generally weaker in most sectors and regions, especially in the Electricity, Gas & Water Supply and the Restaurants & Hotels industry sectors where the Outlooks drop to their weakest levels since the survey started in 2006.

“The results are somewhat downbeat; the encouraging nature of the 3rd quarter Outlook has given way to a relatively stagnant forecast once again. Lower interest rates have not had the desired effect on consumer spending and borrowing and consumer confidence remains low. This, in turn, has affected business confidence, which has dropped to a 12-year low and is affecting business employment plans. The on-going trend of indecision with regards to the Eurozone crises and fluctuating degrees of confidence and doubt, as well as key negative events–such as the recent Lonmin mine debacle–that alarmed foreign investment, continues to cause businesses to be cautious in their hiring plans,” says Lyndy Van Den Barselaar – Managing Director for Manpower Group South Africa.

“Businesses are expecting a sluggish holiday season and are not anticipating the boost that often bolsters sales at the end of the year. Additionally, other developing nations are outperforming South Africa as some political instability and indecision continues to concern business back home, especially with the upcoming elections next year. Fourth-quarter hiring intentions decline in nine of 10 industry sectors and in four of five regions in a quar