seifsaANA reports that the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) said on Tuesday that SA’s employment statistics showed signs of a "deeply troubled economy" and were a serious cause for concern.  

This comes after Statistics SA released its Quarterly Employment Statistics showing that employment decreased by 31,000 quarter-on-quarter, from 9,620,000 in June 2017 to 9,589,000 in September.  Seifsa’s chief economist, Michael Ade, said the data showed that the manufacturing sector, of which the metals and engineering sector was part, lost 0.4% of total employment, or at least 5,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2017.  He said that the data confirmed a direct negative correlation between employment numbers and manufacturing production, as companies chose to utilise existing excess capacity and more capital in productive processes.  "Of specific concern is that, despite the positive contribution made by the manufacturing sector towards an improvement in real GDP growth, which contributed 4.3 percent in quarter three of 2017, the benefits did not translate to an increase in employment," Ade pointed out.  He highlighted the need for multiple approaches to the unemployment problems facing SA.

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