The number of people employed between 2009 and 2015 increased from 14.2 million to 15.7 million, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday.
Releasing the Labour Market Dynamics Report for 2009 to 2015 at a media briefing in Pretoria, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said the rise in employment levels is due to increases in eight of the ten industries.
The biggest increase was seen in community and social services (737,000), finances (336,000) and construction (216,000). Between 2009 and 2015 employment levels in the formal sector increased by 968,000 to 10.9 million, while the informal sector increased from 2.2 million in 2009 to 2.6 million in 2015.
While the number of employed people has risen, the absorption rate of people into the labour market has not recovered to the pre-recession levels. According to the report, the absorption rate was 43.7% in 2015, which was still 2.2% below the pre-recession high.
The report, which provides information on labour market trends from 2009 to 2015, highlighted the performance of the country’s labour market, including measures like unemployment, labour absorption and labour force participation rate.
The report noted that the official unemployment rate of 25.3% in 2015 is 1.6% higher than in 2009.
The report noted that men, adults and those with experience were more likely to find work, while female youth with no experience were the least likely to find employment. “Men remain generally better off in the labour market than women,” said Lehohla.
When coming to the average weekly hours worked, men worked 45 hours per week, while women worked 41 hours per week.
The transport industry had the longest average work week at 50 hours per week.
The working age population (15 to 64 years) according to the report accounted for 66.2% of the total population in 2015, which is larger than the non-working share.
The proportion of employees who were entitled to paid sick leave increased by 0.6% to 68.3%.
Meanwhile, the median job tenure – which is the length of time an employed person has been with their current employer – remained constant at 47 months for three consecutive years (2009 to 2011).
However, it declined to 44 months in 2015.
When coming to earnings, the report noted that earnings inequality between the various population groups were evident over the period 2010 to 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, employees in mining and utilities continued to be the top earners with the largest increases in earnings also recorded for these two industries (R2,500 and R1,500 respectively).