Business

Manufacturing sector creates 6 000 new jobs

Bereng Mpaki

THE manufacturing sector created at least 6 000 new jobs in the last quarter of 2019 ending last October, the Bureau of Statistics (BOS) has said.

The sector is made up of the textiles and clothing industry, the leather and footwear industry, the food and beverages industry among others.

According to the Performance of the Manufacturing Sector in Lesotho Third Quarter 2019, a quarterly report produced by the BOS, 6 700 people were engaged during the quarter reflecting a 16.5 percent increase.

“There was a huge upward pattern perceived from the second quarter of 2019 up to the third quarter of the same year which reflects an increase of over 6 700 new jobs,” the report reads.

The report said the number of people who were employed during the period under review in sector was 47 495, a 16.5 percent increase from the 40 762 recorded in the previous quarter.

The food and beverages industry had the highest increase of 115.4 percent. Employment in leather and footwear industry, on the other hand, decreased by 0.7 percent.

However, compared to the third quarter of 2018, the number of employees in the sector decreased by 5.1 percent with the major contributor to the decline being the food and beverages industry with 17.3 percent.

On wages, the report said there was an overall increase of 22.8 percent in the wages of the manufacturing sector workers during the quarter.

“Wages and salaries recorded an increase in almost all of the industries. On average, the monthly wages and salaries in the manufacturing sector were estimated at M2 465 during the 2019 third quarter.

“On year-to-year basis, the general increase of 56.6 percent average monthly wages and salaries was observed in the third quarter compared to same quarter in 2018. Textile and clothing contributed most to the increase with 68 percent followed by leather and footwear with 25.8 percent.

“The number of persons engaged in the textile and clothing industry showed an increase in the third quarter of over the second quarter of 2019. Employment for this industry has been showing a fluctuating trend on quarterly basis, however a slight downward pattern was observed from second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of the 2019. Moreover, there was huge upward pattern perceived from the second quarter of 2019 up to the third quarter of the same year which reflects an increase of over 6 000 people engaged during the third quarter,” the report reads.

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