Monday, August 27, 2018

A huge number of domestic workers lost their job in the past year

Baanks and Loans
South Africa’s unemployment crisis worsened in the second
quarter of 2018, with the most vulnerable in society being
pushed out of jobs.
Stats SA has published its Quarterly Labour Force Survey for
the second quarter of the year, showing that South Africa’s
unemployment rate climbed by half a percentage point to 27.2%.
The climb was due to a net loss of around 90,000 jobs between
the first and second quarters of the year – with 102,000 losing
jobs, and 12,000 people entering employment.
Looking at job losses based on occupation, the
quarter-on-quarter shifts were driven by major losses in the
sales and services, clerk and elementary positions, offset only
slightly by more hiring in the technician field.
But looking year-on-year, the picture is a bit different,
showing that most occupations have seen declines, offset by the
massive jump in sales and services jobs.
The biggest decline (the second biggest in sheer numbers, after
managers) was seen among domestic workers, with a drop of 4.3%.
Domestic workers
Domestic worker jobs are at risk in South Africa as the economy
and changes to wage regulations add increasing pressure on the
households, or the economic sector which typically makes use of
their services.
Survey data in the past has shown that when it comes to
tightening belts, middle-class households are more likely to
drop domestic worker services as a means to save money – and
house buying data shows a similar trend toward households
looking for homes without domestic worker quarters.
With the South African economy on a slow-growth path, and
disposable incomes getting smaller – and the added demands of
higher wages being introduced with the National Minimum Wage –
the effect of this adverse environment is being reflected in
employment data.
In the second quarter of 2017, Stats SA recorded 1.041
million domestic workers
 in South Africa – and 12
months later, the figure was 996,000.
While this was up by 5,000 or so domestic worker jobs
quarter-on-quarter, it represents a loss of 45,000
jobs
 in the market year-on-year.
According to Stats SA, elementary and domestic workers
represent close to 30% of the South African workforce – of
which, domestic workers account for 6.1%.
Despite the lower figures, there are still more domestic
workers in South Africa than there are professionals.
While professionals have also seen a drop in employment between
2017 and 2018, it is far less than that seen by domestic
workers, with a loss of 19,000 jobs.

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