Adcorp and the South African employment industry
With its population of 48 million people and a labour force of 31 million, South Africa has an employment industry that has a number of unusual characteristics. The most telling is the high unemployment rate, which currently stands at 23,4%.
This is high by the standards of most western nations, where 10% is the norm, but not necessarily by those of emerging markets. So at any one time, nearly one in four people are seeking employment. It is this that drives the existence of a large, dynamic recruitment industry. It is here that Adcorp and the country’s staffing sector is focused, providing a wide range of services to millions of new entrants, re-entrants, job leavers and others who have lost their jobs.
Job-seekers with limited qualifications or experience find employment through temporary employment services. This sector alone is worth R26bn, and consists of more than 5 000 businesses operating nearly 7 000 recruitment centres. In addition, there is also a vibrant, competitive contract-labour market, where private-sector intermediaries play a vital role in helping people to find work.