Index shows takeaway wages fall almost 5% in December, ending a dismal year

  • The BankservAfrica Take-Home Pay Index shows SA nominal wages fell 4.8% in December, while in real terms – which accounts for inflation – average wages fell 6.9% in 2022.
  • December’s decline came despite more than 200,000 new jobs, suggesting they were likely added temporarily for the holidays.
  • While the data shows that nominal wages lagged inflation, indicating an erosion of purchasing power for the average South African, pensioners managed to fare better.
  • For more financial news, go to the News24 company front page.

Average pay for South Africans fell by almost 5% in December, ending a dismal year at a low point, with signs that record load shedding and rampant inflation were taking their toll on households, he said on Wednesday Africa’s largest automated clearing house, BankservAfrica.

The average salary, as measured by BankservAfrica’s Takeaway Pay Index, fell to R14,663 in December, when more than 200,000 new jobs were added, likely reflecting the fact that many are likely to have been created new jobs in lower income categories. said the firm.

The index reflects the trend of almost 4 million monthly wage payments, representing about 37% of all non-agricultural employees, or formal sector staff, in the SA labor market. For 2022, the median average nominal pay was Rs 15,055 per month compared to Rs 15,166 in 2021, so it basically moved sideways.

BankservAfrica said the data showed earnings growth lagged inflation, which had hit a 13-year high in 2022. This was confirmed by data reflecting a 6.9% year-on-year decline in average real wages recorded in 2022, by comparison. . until 2021.

“This reflects a marked erosion in the purchasing power of South Africans, a trend that has filtered down to a dismal household consumption expenditure in 2022,” independent economist Elize Kruger said in a statement.

“Ongoing energy supply issues, in addition to high input costs, rising interest rates and ever-higher wage demands, are putting downward pressure on corporate profits and margins. In addition, a less favorable global economic context adds to the economic challenges in many sectors,” said Kruger.

BankservAfrica head of stakeholder engagement Shergeran Naidoo said on a more positive note the company’s private pension index (BPPI) rose to R10 016 in December in nominal terms, showing growth year-on-year of 7.2%.

“The average nominal BPPI in 2022 was R9 982, also 7.2% higher than the 2021 average. In real terms, the average real private pension in 2022 was R9 576, 0.3% higher than a year earlier, therefore preserving the purchasing power… of the pensioners”, he said.

The data also shows that employment levels have increased, a trend shown by recent StatsSA data, although it is catching up with job losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Adjusted for weekly payments, BankservAfrica data suggests that 1.072 million more salaries were paid into South Africans’ bank accounts in 2022 compared to the previous year.

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