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Western Cape shows largest regional y/y decline in hiring intentions

South African employers in the Manpower survey of 752 representative employers report conservative hiring plans for the second quarter time frame with 13% of employers forecasting an increase in staffing levels,8% expecting a decrease and 77% anticipating no, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +5%.

This means hiring prospects are unchanged when compared with the first quarter 2016, but decline by six percentage points year-over-year (y/y) with the Western Cape the largest decliner with a nine percentage point drop. The survey in South Africa has been conducted since the fourth quarter 2006.

Staffing levels are forecast to grow in all five regions during the second quarter 2016. Employers in Kwazulu-Natal report the strongest hiring prospects with a Net Employment Outlook of +9%. Some payroll gains are anticipated in both Eastern Cape and Gauteng, where outlooks stand at +6% and +5%, respectively. Western Cape employers expect a modest hiring pace, reporting an outlook of +4%, while the outlook for Free State stands at +1%.

On a national sectoral y/y basis, Manpower reports that outlooks decline in six of the 10 sectors. The most notable declines of 17 and 14 percentage points are reported by employers in the agriculture sector and the transport, storage and communication sector, respectively.


Considerably weaker hiring prospects are also reported by employers in the manufacturing sector, with a decline of 13 percentage points, and in the wholesale and retail trade sector, where the outlook is 11 percentage points weaker. Elsewhere, hiring prospects improve in three sectors. A considerable improvement of 12 percentage points is reported for the mining and quarrying sector while the restaurants and hotels sector outlook is 5 percentage points stronger.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter. Manpower’s comprehensive forecast of employer hiring plans has been running for more than 50 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world.

For the global second quarter 2016 survey, Manpower interviewed over 58,000 employers across 42 countries and territories. This showed that job gains are expected in 39 of the 42 countries, with the three exceptions being France, Italy and Brazil. However, despite little indication of labour market contraction, hiring intentions in most countries and territories continue to remain modest. In fact, some key labour markets, such as Germany, France and Italy, are clearly struggling to gain traction amid the current economic uncertainty. Faced with the slowdown in China and ongoing turmoil in commodity markets, most employers across the globe appear to be taking the measured approach of adding staff only when needed.

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