This is the average salary in South Africa right now

Stats SA has published the latest Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for Q3 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 (2.6%), while showing an annual increase of 3.7%.

The average worker is paid R21,966 per month  – up from the R21,414 recorded at the end of Q2, and up from R20,433 recorded in the same period in 2018.

This equates to approximately R263,592 per year.

The country’s formal sector lost 28,000 jobs in Q3:2019 compared to Q2:2019, Stats SA said, noting 10.142 million employed at the end of the quarter, compared to 10.17 million in the previous quarter.

This represents a decline of 0.3% q/q, however it is 0.8% more than the same time in 2018 (or an addition of 78,000 over Q3 last year).

Job losses were seen in construction (-12,000); manufacturing (-12,000); community services (-11,000); business services (-9,000); and transport (-1,000) in Q3.

Gains were only made in trade (+17,000), with electricity and mining flat.

Take-home pay

BankservAfrica recently published its Take Home Pay Index, showing how much money the average South African takes home after tax.

South Africa’s take-home pay for October increased the most in two years and reached new highs in value, the group said.

This index measures wages that are transferred to employee bank accounts.

“Take-home pay reflected a high nominal increase of 7.2% on a year-on-year basis and reached R16,173. This is the first-time average take-home pay reached the R16,000 level,” said Shergeran Naidoo, head of Stakeholder Engagements at BankservAfrica.

“In real-terms, the BTPI increased by 3% year-on-year owing to slightly fewer actual payments, particularly in the lower end of monthly take-home pay.

“The average real-time payment was R14,300, the third-highest level ever recorded by BankservAfrica.”

Naidoo said that the above-average rises in take-home pay in October were on the back of consumer price inflation (CPI) dropping to its lowest levels in eight years.

Unemployment rises

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.

According to Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, South Africa’s unemployment rate again climbed in the third quarter of 2019, to 29.1% – its highest rate in over 16 years.

The country’s unemployment rate last reached 28% in 2003.

The expanded unemployment rate is at 38.5%, unchanged from before, StatsSA said.

Read: Bonus and salary increases at the end of 2019 – this is what top South African professionals expect

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This is the average salary in South Africa right now