Surprisingly, the trade sector continues to create jobs despite consumers pulling back hard on spending - barring the purchase of essential items and services. At least that is what retail sales have indicated. Apparently there is still sufficient demand to justify employing more people. And given that the trade sector is a significant contributor to GDP, it could be a sign of green shoots in the economy. According to the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) for the second quarter, released this week by Stats SA, 48000 jobs were created in the trade sector in the second quarter compared to a year before. The sector now employs just under 2.1 million people working in shops, hotels, restaurants, repairing motor vehicles and providing personal and household goods and services. This makes it the third-largest employer after the government and business services. And it created the most jobs by quite a margin in June, on an annual basis, compared to other sectors. Indeed, since 2007, th...

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