Employment prospects darken after downgrades
Prospects for employment will be subdued in the third quarter, ManpowerGroup says.
According to its employment outlook survey for the third quarter, released on Tuesday, South African employers report limited hiring prospects.
Of the 750 employers who participated in the survey, 9% anticipate an increase in staffing levels, 7% expect a decrease and 83% forecast no change.
Hiring prospects declined by three percentage points from the previous quarter, and are four percentage points weaker than a year ago.
Statistics SA released first-quarter unemployment figures on June 1, which showed unemployment is at the highest level since September 2003, at 27.7%.
ManpowerGroup SA MD Lyndy van den Barselaar said: "As both global and local economic uncertainty continues, many businesses remain cautious about increasing staffing levels."
Van den Barselaar said the downgrades in recent months had caused businesses to be more cautious in their spending and hiring activity.
"This is reflected in the fact that the majority of local employers said they anticipated no change in staffing levels for the upcoming quarter," she said.
Novare Investments analyst Dineo Kekana said in a statement on Tuesday: "The results correspond with the expected deterioration of SA’s economic and labour market landscape."
She said higher borrowing costs following the downgrades would have a greater negative effect on small businesses, while larger companies "are in better shape to absorb economic headwinds".
Regionally, employment prospects for the third quarter are looking up in the coastal and recreational tourist provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape with a 7% and 6% outlook respectively.