SA saw its first increase in employment in six months as the number of employed South Africans rose by 87,000 in the fourth quarter. The increase was driven largely by a rise in the number of those employed in the business services, trade and community services sectors, Statistics SA said on Tuesday. This follows two quarters of contraction. SA usually sees a seasonal boost in temporary employment in the fourth quarter. However, full-time employment also saw an increase of 50,000. Employment in the business services sector was up 53,000 while trade saw a boost of 49,000 and community services rose by 9,000.

“[This was] partly due to seasonal employment associated with the festive season as well as election-related employment in government,” FNB economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi said. Unemployment in the primary sectors of the economy, however, took a knock. Construction shed 18,000 jobs while mining and quarrying fell by 7,000 and manufacturing by 3,000. “While moderate employme...

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