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SA agricultural jobs decline by 5% y/y in Q2, 2020

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Source: Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz e-newsletter, 2 October 2020 (The article first appeared in Business Day)

Quarterly Labour Force Survey data for the second quarter of 2020 showed that South Africa’s primary agricultural employment declined by 5% (or 43 029jobs) from the corresponding period last year to 799033.

This is unsurprising as the social-distancing regulations introduced at the end of March 2020,to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, meant that farmers and agribusiness weren ot able to increase employment, especially of seasonal labour in the same way they would have in the absence of the pandemic, in years of an agricultural bumper harvest as in 2019/20 season. Also, the mild decline in employment confirms our anticipation that farmers might have kept most of the labour force that was already on farms in the first quarter to assist with the harvesting process of horticulture and field crops.
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