ManpowerGroup employment outlook survey Q3 2019

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According to the most recent ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, South African employers report cautious hiring plans for the third quarter of 2019. With 8% of employers anticipating an increase in payrolls, 6% forecasting a decrease and 85% expecting no change, the resulting Net Employment Outlook is +2%. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Outlook stands at +4%.

Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business Services sector and weakest within the Construction sector

Provincially, employers in Gauteng and the Western Cape report the strongest hiring intentions for the third quarter of the year, while employers in the Eastern Cape report the weakest hiring intentions

Hiring prospects remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter, but decline by 2 percentage points in comparison with this time one year ago.

Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup SA, provides insights into why South African employers are reporting cautious hiring intentions for the July to September time frame. “The trend of businesses remaining cautious around hiring activity continues into the third quarter of the year, with a large majority of respondents planning no changes to their hiring strategies and plans. The recently reported increased unemployment rate and turbulent economic environment further cement this sentiment, and will more than likely mean the trend is set to continue for the medium-term,” she explains.

Regional Comparisons

Employers in three of the five regions expect to add to payrolls during the next three months. The strongest hiring prospects are reported in Gauteng and Western Cape, with Net Employment Outlooks standing at +7%, while

Kwazulu Natal employers report an Outlook of +5%. Meanwhile, Free State employers forecast flat hiring activity, reporting an Outlook of 0%, and the Outlook of -1% in Eastern Cape reflects uncertain hiring intentions.

“The results of the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the third quarter of the year sees the continuation of the trend seen in the results from the second quarter, with Gauteng and the Western Cape remaining on top in terms of expected job creation provincially. These provinces continue to act as economic hubs for the country, which allows for the creation of employment opportunities across their main contributing sectors. For example, according to Statistics SA, the sector showing the most growth nationally was the finance and business services sector, which added 109,000 new jobs between the third and fourth quarters of 2018 – and is expected to continue to create employment opportunities in Q3 of this year, according to the latest ManpowerGroup research,” explains van den Barselaar.

When compared with the second quarter of 2019, Free State employers report a moderate decline of 6 percentage points. Elsewhere, the Outlook for Kwazulu Natal remains relatively stable and hiring prospects are unchanged in Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Western Cape.

In a comparison with this time one year ago, hiring plans weaken in three of the five regions. Free State employers report a considerable decrease of 9 percentage points, while Outlooks are 7 and 6 percentage points weaker in Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal, respectively. However, Outlooks strengthen by 4 percentage points in both Gauteng and Western Cape for the same period.

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