Where the jobs are in SA
  • South African employers will only cautiously be adding new jobs between July and September, a new survey of companies suggest – but some will be hiring.
  • The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for Q3 found very different hiring intentions between South Africa's provinces.
  • What jobs there are will be going in the three usual-suspect provinces – but things are looking grim in the Free State.


In the third quarter of 2019, between July and September, South African companies will be adding only cautiously to their payrolls, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released on Tuesday.

Of the 752 South African employers the company asked, ranging from the very small to the very large, 85% said they would keep steady the number of jobs in their organisations. 

Another 7% said they would be reducing employees, or did not know if they would be hiring or firing compared to the previous three months.

See also: Gauteng just lost its place as the province with the highest salaries in South Africa

Between those results and recent economic and unemployment data, ManpowerGroup expects such caution in hiring to be the rule for at least the medium term.

When measured across provinces, however, the intention to hire – or not differs considerably.

This is how hiring intentions for the third quarter of 2019 across the five surveyed South African provinces stack up among surveyed employers.

See also: Joburg no longer pays top salaries – or has the most jobs

Gauteng: +7%

In Gauteng a net 7% of employers intend to add to their workforce between July and September, a number that is not affected by seasonal variation and has now been steady for three quarters in a row.

Unusually among provinces, that is up four percentage points compared to the same quarter in 2018, suggesting a more expansionist mindset in Gauteng than companies in the provinces showed a year ago.


Western Cape: +3%

Of employers in the Western Cape, a net of 3% said they would be hiring people in the coming quarter.

When seasonally adjusted (in a province with a large number of seasonal jobs), that number jumps to 7% – which like the identical seasonal-adjusted number for Gauteng has been stable for three quarters now.

Also like Gauteng, the Western Cape's adjusted number is up four percentage points when compared to the same quarter in 2018.


KwaZulu-Natal: +2%

A net of 2% of employers surveyed in KZN said they would be adding jobs between July and September.

When adjusted for seasonal variation, Manpower believes that will translate into 5% of employers hiring during the coming three-month period.

That is stable on a quarter-by-quarter basis – but down a sharp six percentage points compared to the same time in 2018.


Eastern Cape: -1%

In the Eastern Cape more employers reported intention to slim down their workforces than said they would be hiring, if only barely. 

The -1% number remains the same when seasonally adjusted, and is the same as the previous survey.

However, that number is down a stark seven percentage points compared to the same time last year.


Free State: -5%

Once seasonally adjusted, hiring intentions in the Free State are pretty much flat – but in absolute numbers a net 5% of employers said they would have smaller workforces in the next three months.

That is down both on a quarter-to-quarter basis, by six percentage points, and by nine percentage points year-on-year.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: