Gauteng is not the province to find a job in 2017 as tourism and drought affecting hiring

File Photo: Job hunting.
File Photo: Job hunting.

South African employers report cautiously optimistic hiring intentions for the next three months‚ with 13% of employers forecasting an increase in staffing levels. However‚ 5% are expecting a decrease and 80% are anticipating no change.

This is according to the Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2017‚ released on Tuesday.

Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the electricity‚ gas and water supply sector as well as the restaurants and hotels sector. The weakest growth is expected to be in the construction sector.

Provincially‚ employers in the Western Cape report the strongest hiring intentions for the first quarter of the year‚ while employers within Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal report the weakest hiring intentions.

Overall‚ hiring prospects remain relatively stable when compared with the fourth quarter of 2016 and are two percentage points stronger year-over-year.

Lyndy van den Barselaar‚ Managing Director of Manpower SA‚ explains the beginning of the year often remains a high tourist season for the local market off the back of the year-end spike‚ which explains why the hiring prospects have remained relatively stable.

“Certain industries experience a spike in business associated with the annual South African holiday season‚ which could result in increased employment‚ carrying through into Q1 of 2017.”


Explaining the regional outlook‚ Van den Barselaar says staffing levels are forecast to increase in all five regions. Employers in Western Cape report the strongest hiring plans with a Net Employment Outlook of +13%. Elsewhere‚ modest payroll gains are anticipated in Free State and Eastern Cape‚ with Outlooks of +6% and +5%‚ respectively‚ while Outlooks of +4% are reported in both Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal.

“The Western Cape’s economy is dominated by the City of Cape Town‚ which is an extremely popular tourist destination for local and international holiday makers‚ especially during the summer months. Employers may be anticipating that this influx of travellers will bode well for businesses in their region‚ which is likely to translate into an upbeat hiring environment for job seekers.”

When compared with the previous quarter‚ outlooks weaken in three of the five regions‚ declining by five percentage points in both KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape and by four percentage points in Gauteng. Meanwhile‚ Eastern Cape employers report an improvement of three percentage points.

Year-over-year‚ employers report noteworthy improvements of eight and five percentage points in Western Cape and Eastern Cape‚ respectively.

However‚ hiring prospects weaken in two regions‚ with employers reporting declines of five percentage points in KwaZulu-Natal and three percentage points in Gauteng.


Employers in nine of the 10 industry sectors expect to grow staffing levels during the first quarter of 2017.

The strongest labour markets are forecast for the Electricity‚ Gas & Water Supply sector and the Restaurants & Hotels sector‚ where Net Employment Outlooks stand at +16% and +14%‚ respectively.

Elsewhere‚ employers anticipate steady job gains in the Manufacturing sector‚ where the Outlook is +11%‚ and some hiring opportunities in the Agriculture‚ Hunting‚ Forestry & Fishing sector‚ with an Outlook of +9%.

Moderate hiring activity is also forecast for the Finance‚ Insurance‚ Real Estate & Business Services sector and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector‚ with Outlooks of +8% and +6%‚ respectively.

However‚ Construction sector employers expect employment levels to decline‚ reporting an Outlook of -4%.

“Owing to the current drought being experienced in South Africa‚ measures are being taken in the Electricity‚ Gas & Water Supply sector to decrease the amount of water used by households and businesses alike. This is believed to be a large contributing factor to the expected growth within this industry‚ as more individuals become educated on the drought‚ and look to put in place measures to reduce their water usage. Those individuals and businesses that operate within this gambit will more than likely be experiencing growth‚ and looking to expand within Q1 to keep up with demand‚” says Van den Barselaar.

“Meanwhile‚ the growth in the Restaurants & Hotels sector is related to the amount of local and international tourists and holiday makers making use of local facilities in order to take advantage of the South Africa summer.”

When compared with 4Q 2016‚ hiring intentions strengthen in five of the 10 industry sectors. The most notable increase of nine percentage points is reported in the Restaurants & Hotels sector‚ while Manufacturing sector employers report an improvement of six percentage points. Outlooks also weaken in five sectors‚ including the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector‚ where employers report a considerable decline of 11 percentage points. Hiring prospects are seven percentage points weaker in both the Construction sector and the Transport‚ Storage & Communication sector and decline by six percentage points in both the Finance‚ Insurance‚ Real Estate & Business Services sector and the Public & Social sector.

Year-over-year‚ Outlooks improve in six of the 10 industry sectors‚ most notably by 10 percentage points in the Mining & Quarrying sector. Elsewhere‚ increases of seven percentage points are reported in the Electricity‚ Gas & Water Supply sector and the Restaurants & Hotels sector‚ while Outlooks are five percentage points stronger in the Construction sector and the Manufacturing sector. However‚ employers in three sectors report weaker hiring plans.

The Outlook for the Public & Social sector declines by eight percentage points while Transport‚ Storage & the Communication sectors’ employers report a decrease of seven percentage points.

Large employers anticipate an upbeat hiring pace‚ reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +18%‚ while some job gains are expected in Small- and Medium-size firms‚ with outlooks standing at +7%. However‚ Micro employers forecast a flat labour market with an outlook of 0%.

Globally‚ forecasts are mixed in comparison to the Quarter 4 2016 and Quarter 1 2016 surveys. Hiring plans improve in 19 of 43 countries and territories when compared quarter-over-quarter‚ decline in 17‚ and are unchanged in seven. Outlooks strengthen in 20 countries and territories year-over-year‚ weaken in 18‚ and are unchanged in four.

First-quarter hiring confidence is strongest in Taiwan‚ India‚ Japan‚ Hungary and Slovenia. The weakest forecasts are reported in Brazil‚ Switzerland and Italy.

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