Today's Labour News

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seifsaFin24 reports that the loss of 105,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector in the second quarter of 2018 highlighted subdued domestic demand for industry, and uncertainty over global growth.  

This was said by Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Michael Ade.  He indicated that local manufacturing companies were operating with excess capacity and at sub-optimum production levels, as they tried to minimise input costs, including "uncontrollable fuel and energy costs".  The official unemployment rate rose to 27.2% in the second quarter of 2018, mostly on the back of the manufacturing and services sectors shedding jobs.  Despite adding 58,000 jobs in the first quarter, manufacturing has been under pressure for some time.  It contributed to negative GDP growth of 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018, with the sector contracting by 6.4%.  Seifsa said it was now shifting its focus to the upcoming jobs summit, with the solution to unemployment not only resting with government.  "Accordingly, opportunity-driven (rather than necessity-driven) entrepreneurship should be encouraged since it caters largely for sustainable informal employment,” Ade said.  A date for the jobs summit has yet to be finalised.  Parties at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) believe it will be held between mid- and end September.

  • Read this report by Tehillah Niselow in full at Fin24

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