By Michael Page
The South African labour market has once again been unpredictable. Despite a short recovery observed in South Africa in the first half of 2018 and the emergence from a recession with a +2.2% GDP growth in the third quarter, the official unemployment rate is back at its 2017 level. This is due to weak investment & consumer confidence, along with continued limited household spending & private investment. With the economic stimulus package announced in September 2018 and a heightened commitment to attract foreign investment, we are expecting a positive economic impact on the GDP growth and the unemployment rate for 2019. While the majority of sectors remain under pressure, significant drivers for a more positive development will come from the Banking & Financial Services, IT and Transportation sectors.
As a result of limited household spending and private investment over the last 3 years, local and international organisations continue to be cautious when expanding into the African markets. Despite organizations’ reservations, our specialized Rest of Africa (RoA) recruitment teams have managed to improve year-on-year results by 63%. The RoA region has also created a significant demand for recruitment services in South Africa, with many head offices based mainly in Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Whether it is management level positions based in South Africa or technical/niche roles based in Johannesburg which entail extensive regional travel, the growth of these markets is propelling the South African labour market. Finally, salaries and bonuses have tended to follow a consistent pattern over the past 5 years, with steady increases to reflect inflationary pressures. In the current market, there are a number of candidates with niche skill sets or relevant experience who are able to command higher salaries, due to a low supply of talent.
Click here to see our 2019 South Africa Salary Survey.
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