Manpower report shows SA employers are not too keen on hiring for Q4

A few employers, however, do expect a rise in payrolls.

For the fourth quarter of 2019, between October and December, ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey suggests South African employers have ‘soft hiring intentions', while 10 per cent of employers anticipate an increase in payrolls, 6 percent expect a decrease.

Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the outlook stands at four percentage-point increase. Hiring prospects are unchanged when compared with the previous quarter but declined by 2 percentage points in comparison with this time one year ago.

"As we move into the last quarter of 2019, South Africa’s economy continues to be weighed down by factors such as slow economic growth, policy uncertainty and a high unemployment rate. This can translate into businesses exercising caution around hiring and spending-related activity, which is reflected in 82 percent of responding companies expecting to make no change in their hiring strategies during the October to December timeframe," said Lyndy van den Barselaar, the managing director of ManpowerGroup SA, in a press release.

Lyndy stated that, of all the provinces, employers in the Eastern Cape reported the strongest hiring intentions for the fourth quarter of the year, while employers within Gauteng report the weakest hiring intentions.

Based on sector comparisons, the report finds hiring intentions have weakened in five of the 10 industry sectors when compared with the previous quarter. Transport, Storage & Communications sector employers report the most noteworthy decline of 7 percentage points, while Outlooks decrease by 4 and 3 percentage points in the Electricity, Gas & Water sector and the Mining & Quarrying sector, respectively.  

In a comparison with the final quarter of 2018, hiring prospects strengthen in five of the 10 industry sectors, including the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business Services sector with an increase of 6 percentage points. Elsewhere, Outlooks are 4 percentage points stronger in both the Manufacturing sector and the Public & Social sector. 

Globally, the research for the final quarter of 2019 reveals that employers expect to grow payrolls in 43 of 44 countries and territories surveyed, with employers in one country forecasting no change to hiring intentions. The strongest hiring prospects are reported in Japan, Taiwan, the U.S., India and Greece; while the weakest hiring activity is expected in Spain, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Costa Rica and Switzerland.