3 sought-after job skills in South Africa right now – and how much they pay

Unemployment in South Africa grew by 0.4 of a percentage point to reach 35.3% in the final quarter (Q4) of 2021, Statistics South Africa has revealed.

Releasing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) statistics on Tuesday, statistician-general Risenga Maluleke said Q4 of 2021 showed that the number of employed persons increased by 262,000 to 14.5 million.

However, the number of unemployed persons also increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million, compared to the third quarter of 2021.

“While the number of not economically active population decreased by 397,000 to 17.4 million during this quarter. The number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 56,000 (1.4%) and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 341,000 (2.4%) between the two quarters,” said the statistics agency.

Stats SA said the changes in the labour market resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0.4 of a percentage point from 34.9% in Q3.

“The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 46.2 % in quarter 4 2021 compared to quarter 3 2021,” Maluleke said.

The agency said that the number of not economically active population decreased by 397,000 to 17.4 million during this quarter.

The 2021 Q4 report also reveals that the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 341,000 (2.4%) between the two quarters.

“These changes in the labour market resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0.4 of a percentage point from 34.9% in the third quarter of 2021 to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008.

“The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 46.2% in quarter 4 2021 compared to quarter 3 2021.”

Stats SA said formal sector employment increased by 143,000 jobs between Q3:2021 and Q4:2021, while the informal sector shed jobs by 48,000 in the same period.

Between Q3 2021 and Q4 2021, a net increase in employment of 262,000, was mainly due to an increase recorded in Private households (129,000), Trade (118,000) and Community and social services (73,000). Decreases were observed mainly in Manufacturing (85,000), followed by Construction (25,000).

The latest Employment Insights Report from jobs portal CareerJunction provides an analysis of the supply and demand trends in the online job market, to represent online labour dynamics in South Africa.

“The analysis and findings serve as a foundation for potential HR solutions & strategies, enabling businesses and recruitment agencies to focus on relevant occupations when developing their talent attraction and retention strategies,” it said.

The career specialist highlighted the following:

Growing hiring activity in the past three months

Declining hiring activity in the past three months

Focusing on the finance sector, CareerJunction pointed to the following skills as being the most sought after, and how much in-demand roles are currently paying.

Market-related salary offerings for top in-demand skills

  • Financial / Project Accounting Skills: Between R30,668 – R38,954 p/m
  • Bookkeeping Skills: Between R17,407 – R21,853
  • Accounts Payable / Receivable Skills: Between R16,889 – R23,033

Top 3 scarce skills

  • Cost & Management Accounting
  • Change Management
  • Business Development

The CareerJunction Employment Insights report is based on comprehensive data gathered from the Saongroup South Africa – where around 5,000 of the country’s top recruiters (both agencies and employers) advertise their positions to millions of registered jobseekers.


Read: The most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now

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3 sought-after job skills in South Africa right now – and how much they pay