The BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index (BTPI) released yesterday showed that the monthly equivalent of the number of salaries paid declined by 10.4 percent in October compared with the same month last year.
This was an improvement from the 34 percent contraction in the number of salaries paid in July.
BankservAfrica said the highest single number of declines in salaries occurred in July followed by June because of payments to employees and employment figures lagging economic events by a month or so.
This suggested that the decline occurred during two consecutive months in April and May of the strictest lockdown restrictions at the height of the Covid-9 pandemic.
This was in line with a Statistics South Africa’s survey which found that up to 76 percent of respondents did not experience salary/ wage increases by the sixth week of national lockdown.
The chief economist at economists.co.za, Mike Schüssler, said the Covid-19 lockdown had affected daily and weekly workers the most.
“At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, daily and weekly workers were hurt the most with salary numbers dropping to extremely low levels,” Schüssler said.
“This is similar to what is being experienced around the world where lower-end income earners were hit the hardest.”
In spite of this, BankserveAfrica said salaries had improved by 3 percent year-on-year in real terms in October. Workers have been cushioned by the Unemployed Insurance Fund’s Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme payment.