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Report: 48,000 jobs lost in last quarter

48,000 jobs in private households were lost during the last quarter due to a greater strain on pockets.

A domestic worker busy ironing. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - A greater strain on the pockets of South Africans has been cited as the main cause for the loss of 48,000 jobs in private households. 

The Statistics SA figure refers to domestic workers and was released as part of its quarterly labour force survey in Pretoria on Tuesday.

It is a job which usually earns mostly unskilled, poorly educated women a minimum wage salary, but it appears South Africans can no longer or are unwilling to afford the services of domestic workers. 

Last week, the South African Institute for Race Relations released its study which was backed up by Statistics SA figures. 

Researcher at the institute Georgina Alexander said employment in the sector was decreasing despite a growing middle-class.

“Your income is still chewed away quite substantially by the rising cost of fuel and electricity, so this contributes to people not being able to afford to employ a domestic worker full-time.”

GOVERNMENT MUST IMPLEMENT JOB-CREATING POLICIES

At the same time, Cosatu said it was worried by the loss of 68,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of last year, and called on government to implement policies to create employment.

It was the first time since 2008 a decrease had been experienced in the fourth quarter.

Cosatu's Patrick Craven said government must work with labour and business to turnaround growing unemployment trends. 

“Government must put far more work into actually implementing the many excellent policies which exist on paper, for restructuring our economy and creating decent jobs, and put them into practice.”

But economist Azar Jammine blamed the unfriendly labour market environment created by on-going industrial action for affecting the economy. 

He said strike action was leading to “reluctance on the part of employers to take on workers”.

The Statistics SA figures showed that year-on-year unemployment had increased to 24.9 percent.

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