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Half of all jobs lost due to difficult blockages were recovered by October, new study says

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South Africa employs jobs

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  • South Africa’s employment levels rose in October, following massive job losses since the country passed the severe blockade by April 2020.
  • New data published by the National Income Dynamics Survey show that employment levels in October almost matched those of February, just before the pandemic.
  • Educated youth, with at least the matrix, spurred employment recovery.
  • Agriculture, manufacturing and trade all returned to levels beyond pre-pandemic.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Employment in South Africa withdrew after a devastating period after the stalemate in April 2020, says a new study, with the percentage of working-age adults almost recovering at pre-pandemic levels by October.

Approximately 2.1 million additional jobs were registered between June and October 2020, according to the latest national revenue dynamics study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) results. The third part of this survey, referred to as Wave 3, tracks data submitted by more than 6,000 respondents between 18 and 64 years old.

NIDS-CRAM focuses extensively on the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Income, employment, welfare, education and gender inequality are the main topics he investigates.

The detailed employment recovery in Wave 3 – which uses pre-pandemic figures, February 2020 as a basis – shows that the proportion of employed respondents (excluding brushed ones) was at 53% in October, compared to only 40% during the Level 5 blockade in April

In February, the number had been roughly the same, with 54% of respondents indicating they were employed.

Those numbers are expected to increase soon, with Statistics SA publishing next week the results of the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS), which uses a larger sample size and provides a more balanced view of national situation.

NIDS-CRAM suggests that the labor market continues to be in an extreme influx state, demonstrated by comparisons between jobs lost due to stagnation and employment opportunities gained in the second half of 2020.

Those who found work were not necessarily those who had lost their jobs; “Of those who lost their jobs in April, only half were employed again by October, while about a third of those unemployed in February were employed in October,” says the NIDS-CRAM Wave 3 report.

South Africa employs jobs

NIDS-CRAM

Healing has been particularly evident in young people with higher levels of education. Of respondents aged between 18 and 24 with matriculation level education, 42% reported having found work by October 2020.

Similarly, young people who completed higher levels of education reported a slight increase in employment over the same period.

The results were opposite for young people with just under one matrix; they reported a slight decline in employment.

The employment rate for educated adult adults, between 25 and 40, shared similar upward trends, but to a lesser extent. Older adult respondents, classified as between 41 and 55 years old, reported a marginal decline in employment.

NIDS-CRAM also highlighted certain industries which returned strongly by October, compared to their situation in April. This sector overview is correlated with data provided by SA Statistics GDP data, which ranked production, wholesale and retail sales at or above February 2020 levels

NIDS-CRAM lists the sectors that performed better in October than they did in February as follows (ranked from highest to lowest as a percentage of employment compared to February):

  • Agriculture
  • productivity
  • Business
  • Utilities
  • Communication Service Providers (CSPs)

Sectors that were ranked as even weaker include:

  • Building
  • mines
  • Finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE)

“The employment recovery described here remains largely the same after testing a number of alternative approaches to measuring employment, including the use of different definitions of employment that take into account different age categories or those that count as ’employment’,” he notes. NIDS-CRAM.

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