As households continue to chip away at their budgets to make ends meet, increasingly even employing a domestic worker can be counted as a luxury. That is if statistics published in the third Quarterly Labour Force Survey on Tuesday are anything to go by. South African consumers have weathered a harsh year with economic growth withering and the economy slipping into a recession. The impact of this on employment in private households should hardly surprise but it is difficult to ignore that 30,000 jobs were lost in private homes in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. These jobs mostly comprise domestic work, the sector responsible for the single largest decline of all the sectors surveyed. Year on year this sector has shed 46,000 posts, according to the labour force survey. In that period there were 1,26m domestic workers employed compared to 11,25m professionals, according to Stats SA. Many professionals have relied on domestic workers, which include gardeners and drive...

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