SA loses 3K jobs in first quarter of 2020, before lockdown – StatsSA

Total employment in SA's non-agricultural formal sector fell by 3 000 between December 2019 and March 2020, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin.

The QES results are based on a sample survey conducted by Stats SA and include findings on employment in the non-agricultural formal sector. The figures published on Tuesday do not include the impact of the lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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According to Stats SA, the decrease in employment was due to falls in trade (-17 000), construction (-14 000) and manufacturing (-2 000).

However, there were increases in community services (17 000); business services (8 000), mining (3 000) and transport (2 000).

According to Stats SA, there were 10 234 000 people employed in SA's non-agricultural sector in December 2019, and 10 231 000 in March 2020.

The QES bulletin is separate from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which is also published by Stats SA. While the labour force survey gives SA's official unemployment rate, the QES gives a snapshot of total non-agricultural formal sector employment.

According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, South Africa has an official unemployment rate of 30.1%, the highest rate in the past decade.

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