Manpower group has released the results of its latest Employment Outlook Survey, showing that South African employers are cautiously optimistic about the local economy and are expecting to hire more people in 2017.
The survey, which covered 751 employers across the country, showed that 12% of employers are expecting to increase staff levels this year, while only 5% are expecting to let staff go, giving the country a net employment outlook of 7%.
Majority of employers (81% of respondents) expect to keep their staff levels stable for the year. South Africa’s hiring prospects at Q2 2017 were unchanged from the first quarter, but are two percentage points higher than they were in Q2 2016, Manpower said.
“As global economic uncertainty continues, many businesses will be more cautious about increasing staffing levels. The majority of local employers said they anticipated no change in their staffing levels for the upcoming quarter, which is a reflection of this economic uncertainty translating into the local employment market,” said Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of Manpower SA.
The strongest labour market is forecast in Western Cape, where employers report a net employment outlook of +14%. Elsewhere, employers report cautiously optimistic outlooks of +9% in both Free State and KwaZulu Natal, while outlooks stand at +6% and +4% in Eastern Cape and Gauteng, respectively.
According to van den Barselaar, Western Cape job seekers will benefit from various infrastructure and tourism projects – particularly around Plettenburg Bay and Cape Town – with many developments already taking place.
Gauteng, while remaining the economic hub of the country, has far more muted employment prospects, with most of the drive coming from focused transformation projects headed by the provincial government.
All sectors looking up
Employers in all 10 industry sectors forecast an increase in payrolls during the upcoming quarter.
Transport, Storage and Communication sector employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a net employment outlook of +15%, while outlooks stand at +11% in both the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing sector and the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services sector.
Employers in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector report cautiously optimistic hiring plans with an outlook of +10%, while outlooks of +9% are reported in both the Electricity, Gas and Water Supply sector and the Restaurants and Hotels sector.
Meanwhile, the most cautious outlook of +1% is reported by Mining and Quarrying sector employers.
Participating employers are categorized into one of four organization sizes: Micro businesses have less than 10 employees; Small businesses have 10-49 employees; Medium businesses have 50-249 employees; and Large businesses have 250 or more employees.
Staffing levels are expected to grow in all four organization size categories during 2Q 2017, the report said.
Large employers report upbeat hiring prospects with a net employment outlook of +18%, while outlooks stand at +8% and +6% for Medium- and Micro-size employers, respectively. The most cautious outlook of +3% is reported by Small employers.