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Stormy labour market: Employees will suffer for a long while to come – Solidarity

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

4 November 2015

Owing to the slump in the labour market, employees in various sectors have come under substantial pressure and have been experiencing lasting insecurity in the workplace since 2007. In addition, various macroeconomic indicators show that this storm won’t pass for a long while to come.

 

These are some of the findings in the latest quarterly index on job and wage security in South Africa, compiled by the trade union Solidarity and ETM Analytics, and released today.

 

In the third quarter of 2015, the Solidarity-ETM Labour Market Index has increased somewhat from 42,9 to 43,4 but it is still comfortably below 50, the break-even level between rising and falling wage and job security. Since December 2007, the index has been above 50 for only 3 out of 31 quarters.

 

Gerhard van Onselen, a researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), said that in general, the labour market has not yet recovered from the underlying structural weaknesses that have prevailed since December 2007. “The danger is that events such as the five-month strike in the platinum sector has caused lasting damage to the labour market. In addition, various macroeconomic indicators such as the decline in motor vehicle sales and growing risks in the retail sectors indicate a possible further economic downturn that could have a ripple effect on other consumer sectors,” Van Onselen said.

 

Although current employee confidence showed a moderate recovery from 34,2 in the second quarter to 39,2 in the third quarter, relatively few respondents that participated in the latest Solidarity survey experienced improved job security. In addition, a greater number of respondents indicated no change in their job security.

 

The index forms part of the Solidarity-ETM Analytics South African Labour Market Report, a quarterly commentary on labour market developments. It includes discussions of the following labour market topics:

 

  • A look at the recent student protests
  • The distribution of higher educational qualifications in South Africa
  • ANC totalitarianism will ruin the economy
  • Vulnerable consumer sectors

To read the full report, click here.

The Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) is a research organisation and think tank of the trade union Solidarity and the Solidarity Movement.

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