In February 2019 there were 150.606 million (M), an increase of 0.21% month on month, (m/m).

employ-ind-fig1Figure 1 shows manufacturing and construction employment on the same chart from 2005 to present. Both manufacturing and construction employment are showing growth, construction is growing at a faster rate on a percentage basis.

The SA manufacturing sector employed 12.834M in February, up 4,000 m/m and higher by 242,000 (1.9%), y/y. The two largest employment categories within manufacturing are motor vehicles and parts and transportation equipment. There were 1.006M employed in the manufacture of motor vehicles and parts, +2,000 change m/m. On a y/y basis, jobs in this sector were higher by 14,000 or +1.4%. The transportation equipment field employed 1.739M. Jobs in this sector were up by 3,000 m/m and were stronger by 59,000, +3.5% y/y.

The construction sector employed a total of 7.422M, down 31,000 m/m, (0.42%), m/m and up by 223,000, (3.1%) y/y. Most construction workers are employed constructing buildings. In February there were 1.652M workers constructing buildings, up 16,000, m/m and up 54,000, +3.5% y/y. Heavy civil engineering was the next largest construction segment employing 11073M in February, down 13,200, m/m and higher by 40,600 or +3.9% y/y. Highway, streets and bridge construction, (not SA) employed 291,900, down 34,700 m/m but higher by 2,100 or y/y.

At Gerdau, we keep a keen eye on the employment numbers, especially manufacturing and construction since this is where most long product steel ends-up. In addition we know that growth in net job creation correlates to increased steel consumption.