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Job recruitment gathers steam as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Although Information Technology continues to be the top-performing employment sector in South Africa, CareerJunction says that hiring activity in this area has declined by 3 percent in the past three months. Picture: Courtney Africa, ANA.

Although Information Technology continues to be the top-performing employment sector in South Africa, CareerJunction says that hiring activity in this area has declined by 3 percent in the past three months. Picture: Courtney Africa, ANA.

Published Apr 27, 2022

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With South Africa seeing an easing of Covid-19 lockdowns, safety protocols, travel restrictions and the National State of Disaster due to the pandemic lifting, CareerJunction expects that this year will continue to reflect a market recovery for recruitment activity over the next three months.

The salary levels and online labour supply and demand trends insights provider said in its CareerJunction Employment Insights Report that there has been a continued increase in recruitment activity over the past 13 months.

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The institution said this was encouraging because not only did it signify that employers were showing confidence in the local economy, but also that more opportunities were becoming available for jobseekers despite the ongoing challenges faced by the local economy.

Between March last year and March this year, hiring activity has increased by 39 percent, which is an uptake of 18 percent in job advertising, compared to the year-on-year stats for March 2020 to March 2021.

Admin, office and support has seen the biggest increase in hiring activity. One reason may be that an increasing number of local companies are moving back to a more office-bound working environment as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, it says.

Although Information Technology continues to be the top-performing employment sector in South Africa, CareerJunction says that hiring activity in this area has declined by 3 percent in the past three months. It attribute this decline partly to an increase in emigration as travel restrictions are relaxed, as well as to the growing trend of “digital nomads” in the IT space.

Looking at recruitment per location, it is no surprise that more than 50 percent of vacancies are based in Gauteng, South Africa's smallest province, but largest economic hub. Just more than 30 percent of job offers are located in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Comparing the first quarter (Q1) 2022 to Q1 2020, Gauteng, the Western Cape and KZN show an increase in demand for professionals in the manufacturing and assembly sector (Gauteng +28 percent; Western Cape +23 percent; KZN +37 percent).

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A similar trend is evident for professionals in the admin, office and support sector (Gauteng +13 percent; Western Cape +3 percent; KZN +38 percent).

Building and construction professionals enjoyed better employment prospects in Gauteng (+10 percent) and the Western Cape (+9 percent), compared to two years ago. KZN showed a decline in demand for building and construction professionals over the past two years (-23 percent). This is however expected to change in the coming months as a result of the recent flooding and damage in the province.

The CareerJunction Employment Insights Report provides an analysis of the supply and demand trends in the online job market, to represent online labour dynamics in South Africa.

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According to Stats SA’s latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) report, which was released on March 31 2022, there was a 6.7 percent increase in gross earnings between December 2020 and December last year. Although this statistic does not track to inflation, CareerJunction says that the news is still positive for South African employees.

“Gross earnings paid to employees increased by R44.3 billion from R783bn in September 2021 to R827.3bn in December 2021, equating to an increase of 5.7 percent in the final quarter of the year. This was largely due to increases in the following industries: trade, community services, manufacturing, business services, transport, construction and electricity.

“Year-on-year, gross earnings increased by R51.7bn or (6.7 percent) between December 2020 and December 2021,” the report said.

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With the above observations CareerJunction says it has researched three popular roles across four different sectors using actual salary offerings to compare market related salaries quarter by quarter.

The findings for quarter four (Q$) 2020 to Q1 2021 and Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 reveal volatile salary trends within the IT industry. However, in contrast, professionals in account management, data analysis/data warehousing, human resources and financial/project accounting were being offered higher salaries compared to a year ago.

The institution said while there was no consistent change in the high end of salary offerings, advertised salary packages for roles in sales, finance and admin, office and support were generally at the same or at a better rate than a year ago.

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Covid-19

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