South African employers report modest hiring intentions for the July – September time frame, according to Manpower Group’s latest employment survey.
Manpower Group’s latest quarterly Employment Outlook survey, shows how employers both locally and globally plan to adjust their workforce over the next three months.
It found that while 12% of employers expect to increase staffing levels in SA, 8% anticipate a decrease and 80% forecast no change.
Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the outlook stands at +6%, declining by two percentage points when compared with the previous quarter, but improving by two percentage points in comparison with the third
quarter of 2017, the employment specialist said.
“While business and consumer confidence seems to have improved in recent months, the country’s economy is still weighed down by measured growth and some uncertainty around new policies being introduced in the country,” said Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director of ManpowerGroup SA.
“This can translate into employers being cautious about hiring and spending-related activity, which is reflected in 80% of responding companies expecting to make no change in their hiring strategies in the upcoming quarter of the year.”
Regionally, employers in all five regions expect to grow payrolls in the third quarter.
The strongest hiring prospects are reported in Kwazulu Natal, where the net employment outlook is +11%. Elsewhere, moderate hiring activity is forecast in the Free State, with an outlook of +7%, and in Eastern Cape, where the outlook is +5%. Employers report cautious hiring plans in the Western Cape and Gauteng, with outlooks of +4% and +3%, respectively.
“KwaZulu-Natal is taking a keen focus on its tourism industry, currently having several key tourism projects that are expected to boost the economy and create employment,” van den Barselaar said.
“These projects include Durban Film City, the four and five star Port Durnford Resort south of Durban, the St Lucia EcoHotel and the KwaMbonambi Hotel on the North Coast – these kinds of projects are aimed at driving tourism to the province, which could then create employment across a number of related sectors.”
Employers in three of the five regions report improved hiring prospects. An increase of 8 percentage points is reported in Free State, while outlooks are 5 percentage points stronger in both the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal.
Meanwhile, hiring plans decline by 3 and 2 percentage points in Western Cape and Gauteng, respectively.
Payrolls are expected to increase in nine of the 10 industry sectors during 3Q 2018.
The strongest hiring intentions are reported for the transport, storage & communication sector, where the net employment outlook stands at +20%.
Steady job gains are forecast for the electricity, gas & water sector, with an outlook of +14%, while finance, insurance, real estate & business services sector employers expect a fair hiring climate, reporting an outlook of +9%.
Elsewhere, a moderate hiring pace is anticipated for the restaurants & hotels sector, with an outlook of +7%, and in both the agriculture, hunting, forestry & fishing sector and the public & social sector, where outlooks stand at +5%.
However, construction sector employers forecast a struggling labour market, reporting an outlook of -5%.
“The expected growth in the transport, storage and communication sector could be aligned to many factors, including investor focus on South Africa’s communications and transport infrastructures,” said van den Barselaar.
“South Africa’s operating systems need to be improved if the country is to keep up with expected growth of the online space – especially in e-commerce.”
“In terms of transport, there is an existing focus on the modernising of South Africa’s passenger rail network, which may be expected to create employment in the medium to long term,” she said.