Co-workers
(Getty)
  • The latest Statistics SA Quarterly Employment Statistics bulletin shows that the average salary in the formal sector was R21,190 a month.
  • The survey shows that the average salary is not keeping up with inflation.
  • But workers in the electricity, water and gas sectors seem to still be coining it.

The average monthly salary in South Africa’s formal business sector was R21,190 in November 2018, according to the latest employment data released by Statistics SA this week. This amount includes bonuses and overtime, but excludes workers in the agricultural sector.

The Stats SA’s latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin confirmed that South Africa's salary slaves are not getting ahead.

The average salary  for November last year (R21,190) was slightly lower than the average in August, which came to R21,192.

And while it was 4.9% higher than in November 2017 – it was not keeping up with inflation, which was 5.2% for the same period.

Read: This is the salary increase you will need this year

average earnings
Average monthly earnings at current prices in South Africa (all formal non-agricultural industries). Source: Statistics SA

Average monthly earnings (including bonuses and overtime) vary a lot across SA's different sectors, with workers in the electricity, gas and water sectors earning on average three times more that those in the retail and hospitality sector.

Electricity, gas and water supply industry - average salary of R44,228 

Power lines feed electricity to the national grid
Power lines feed electricity to the national grid from Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

This is 10.4% higher than a year before - more than double the average salary increase in South Africa. This is despite the number of positions in this industry falling by almost 2% in the past year. There were 61,000 workers in this sector in December. 

Community, social and personal services industry - average salary of R26,062 

Doctor in theatre

This sector includes civil servants, health professionals and university employees. The average salary increase has been more than 8% in the past year.

According to the latest StatsSA report, there were almost 2.7 million workers in this sector at the end of 2018 - 1.2% more than a year before.

Mining and quarrying industry - average salary of R25,510

The average salary in this sector increase by 8.2% over the past year. The number of employees in the sector fell by almost 2% to 449,000 by the end of 2018. This is the worst employment losses in any South African industry.

Transport, storage and communication industry - average salary of R24,770

Cellphone tower (Getty)
 The average salary is 5% higher than a year ago. According to StatsSA there were 488,000 workers in this sector - 1.5% more than a year ago.

Financial intermediation, insurance, real estate and business services industry - average salary of R23 436 

Average salaries increased by 3.6% over the past year. There were almost 2.4 workers in this sector by the end of 2018 - with annual growth in employment of 3.4%. This industry is the strongest creator of new jobs in South Africa.

Manufacturing - average salary of R18,510

The average salary was 4.8% higher than a year ago. Some 1.2 million South Africans work in manufacturing - and employment in this sector grew by half a percent over the past year.

Construction industry - average salary of R16,528 

dangote
Photo: Liege Africa

Given the dire state of this industry, it's no surprise that earnings only increased 0,4%. Employment in the sector has also fallen by 1.4% over the past year.

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motor cycles, and personal and household goods; hotels and restaurants industry - average salary of R13,725 

Average salaries in this sector rose by 3.4% over the past year. According to StatsSA, there are almost 2.3 million workers in this sector - 2.5% more than a year ago.

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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