Pnet report sheds light on hiring trends in SA

Published Oct 28, 2023


South Africa's local job market saw a 3% decline ‘quarter-on-quarter’ in the third quarter of this year, driven by a significant decrease in hiring activity in September, according to the Pnet Job Market Trends Report.

The Pnet Job Market Trends Report is based on empirical data sourced from the Stepstone Group, a South African online recruitment platform, with a database of more than 8 million registered users.

Year-on-year, hiring activity had declined by -3%. However, over the past two years there had been a 14% growth in jobs.

Some of the reports out takes for quarter three (Q3) 2023:

– One in five international jobs were allocated to business and management professionals.

– The North West province experienced a significant decrease in hiring activity for IT professionals .

– The Free State’s labour demand for finance professionals increased significantly.

– The Northern Cape also experienced a significant uptake in hiring activity for finance professionals.

– Q3 had seen a significant (18%) decrease in labour demand for admin, office and support professionals in the Western Cape.

– Demand for business and management professionals increased by 10% in the Eastern Cape.

– In KwaZulu-Natal, demand across many sectors declined. Most significant decreases were noted in business and management, IT as well as admin, office and support.

– Finance professionals and sales professionals declined in Mpumalanga.

– Gauteng experienced a decrease in hiring activity for IT, finance and admin, office and support.

– Hiring activity in Limpopo increased by 10%. Most significant increases were noted in business, management, IT, admin, office and support.

Statistics South Africa released the Census 2022 Population Count Results earlier this month with results showing that the population of South Africa was 62 million in 2022, increasing from 51.7 million in 2011. The findings reveal that there are more females than males: women and girls made up 31.9 million of the population, and men and boys made up 30 million.


Pnet’s findings showed that 20% of female jobseekers age 35 and older attained a tertiary qualification, while 23% of female jobseekers below age 35 have a tertiary qualification.

Pnet said their findings further showed an increased ratio of young women with tertiary qualifications vs women aged 35 and older, especially in traditionally “male-dominated” professions such as civil/structural engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, engineering technician, electrical and electronic equipment Installation / repair and plant/ production control.

The increase of women in male-dominated occupations was not only evident with the younger generations.

Looking at female jobseekers in general, over the past five years, Pnet said they saw an increasing trend of female professionals entering many historically male-dominated occupations.

– Since August 2018, the proportion of female professionals in the IT project administration / management sector had increased by 9%, and the percentage of female professionals in the army/ air force/navy had increased by 15%.

– There were 10% more female professionals in the quantity surveying and broadcasting / sound engineering sectors than there were five years ago, while the industrial engineering sector has seen the percentage of female professionals increase by 12% during the same period.

– Over the past five years there has also been an increase in the number of females working as architects, building inspectors, electronic engineers, personal security and mining inspectors.

Overall, Pnet said it was clear that there was a significant drive within the female population to find the right job and profession.

It said women applying for jobs were outpacing their male counterparts as over the last 12 months, the majority (51%) of applicants were female while only 39% were male.