Covid-19 South Africa Employment Impact

We have done some modelling work on what we predict employment levels to be when we move to Level Three.  The number of people not working during Level Three could be as high as 4.3m.  We have also looked at the predictions for economic contraction, and feel that we have raised our estimate to a R317bn contraction from 2019 nominal GDP.

Eighty20 calculations estimated that as many as 9.9m South Africans were at home, not working, during the hard lockdown, which will move to 4.3m for Level Three. When Level Three starts, we should have 9.5m working on site again.

Using StatsSA Q4 2019 Quarterly Labour Force Survey and Quarterly Employment Statistics, Eighty20 has analysed several hundred job categories and descriptions within each industry for all 16.6m employed individuals.

These employees, who earn R246.1bn in salaries, were broken into four classifications, namely:

  • On-site workers: 3.8m during Level 5 and 9.5m during Level 3
  • Those likely to be working remotely: 1.7m during Level 5 and 1.7m during Level 3
  • Working at reduced capacity: 1.2m during Level 5 and 1.1m during Level 3
  • Those not working: 9.9m during Level 5 and 4.3m during Level 3

Eighty20 visualisations have determined that during the Level 5 Lockdown, the employees in the Manufacturing, Retail and Transport sectors were hardest hit, with a less of an impact to the EGW and Agricultural sector which fall within essential services.

The team also analysed 14 forecasts for GDP growth over the next year which range from -3.8% to -14%, giving a consensus of -7.3%. This translates into a GDP contraction of R317bn from the 2019 nominal GDP.

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