“Affirmative action premium” indicates black candidates earn above their white counterparts
Employment in South Africa fell sharply at an annualised rate of 2.0% in June, following an even higher decline in May of 3.1%. Job losses in June amounted to 31 781, bringing the total job losses for the past two months to 82 520 .
Adcorp, the JSE-listed human capital management group, found that most sectors apart from wholesale and retail trade (+2.1%), all occupations except managers (+2.2%) and professionals (+3.3%) reported declines. All employment categories except the informal sector reported a decline.
The sharpest declines were recorded in:
- agriculture (- 12,7%);
- transport (- 8.6%);
- mining (-8.1%);
- plant and equipment (-4.7%); and
- construction (-4.7%)
Adcorp’s index of informal sector employment rose 0.2%, representing the 12th consecutive monthly improvement.
An analysis, based on a limited number of candidates , of the wage premium of affirmative action candidates by Adcorp revealed that the premium for blacks is 23.1% and for black females is 36.4% compared to their white counterparts.
“The wage premium of affirmative action candidates over their non-affirmative counterparts is one of the most important labour market indicators;” says Adcorp labour economist Loane Sharp.
He says, that in order to determine the affirmative action premium, it is necessary to hold constant the level of skills, qualifications, experience, on-the-job performance and other pertinent information to accurately reflect the purely race-linked pay discrepancies between the candidates.
Since much of the information required to determine the “premium” is not recorded or not readily available, Adcorp obtained the information from 1 604 permanent placements it made for the 12-month period June 2011 to May 2012.
“The figures also showed that Asians and coloureds earn 2.7% and 7.3% less than whites respectively, whereas blacks earn 23.1% more than whites for equivalent levels of skills, qualifications, experience and on-the-job performance.”
Sharp remarks that when the figures are dissected further by gender, Asian and black females earn 3.1% and 15.5% more than their male counterparts, whereas coloured and white females earn 25.2% and 20.6% less than their male counterparts.
“It is important to stress that as the data is not consistently available over time, it is impossible to say whether the affirmative action wage premium has been rising or falling over time,” concludes Sharpe. But Adcorp will continue to track and report on these figures in upcoming editions of the Adcorp Employment Index.
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