StatsSA has published the latest Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for Q2 2019, showing what workers are getting paid across the various sectors in the country.
The data shows that the average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal, non-agricultural sector was up slightly quarter to quarter (2.7%), while showing an annual increase of 4.9%.
The average worker is paid R21,432 per month – up from the R20,859 recorded at the end of Q1, and up from R20,433 recorded in the same period in 2018.
This equates to approximately R257,184 per year.
Total basic salaries paid out to workers across all industries amounted to R626.22 billion over the quarter, up 6.6% from the R601.26 billion paid a year before.
Bonuses and overtime also increased by 10.2% year on year to R58.72 billion – though this was down 5.5% from the previous quarter.
Stats SA noted an increase of 141,000 workers employed, year-on-year, though a loss of 2,000 jobs from last quarter.
The biggest gains in employment over the last year were seen in the community services sector (+74,000) followed by trade (+58,000) and business services (+38,000).
Gains were offset by losses in construction (-30,000), however.
This loss was mainly due to decreases in employment in the building of complete constructions or parts thereof, civil engineering and renting of construction/demolition equipment with operators, Stats SA said.
BankservAfrica this week published its latest Take Home Pay Index, showing how much money the average South African takes home after tax.
The index showed a slight decline in take home pay in August of 0.2%, putting the average pay at R14,385.
The decline in the index is due to the late and back dated increases of public servants’ wages last year, said chief economist at Economists.co.za, Mike Schussler, who noted that the civil service makes up around 30% of the payments measures in the index.
“Late salary adjustments and the subsequent back dated increases influence the data somewhat. Therefore, had civil servant salaries been paid on time last year, the index increases would have been slightly lower in April to June while the July and August changes would have been somewhat higher,” he said.
“The slight decline is therefore overstated – we expect take-home pay to increase ever so slightly in the next few months,” Schussler said.
Despite the increase in pay and take-home pay, the data comes as South Africa sits in its worst unemployment context in almost two decades.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for Q2 2019 showed that the unemployment rate increased by 1.4 percentage points from 27.6% in the first quarter of 2019 to 29% in the second quarter of 2019.
The country’s unemployment rate last hit over 28% in 2003.