Where Are The Jobs? Sectors Where Opportunities Are Rising And Falling
Sparks fly as a welder works on a metal gate outside a workshop at a village in Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh, India, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Where Are The Jobs? Sectors Where Opportunities Are Rising And Falling

Job listings continue to rank among the worst-performing high frequency indicators, remaining well below pre-pandemic levels. While new listings indicate signs of a pick-up in some sectors, recovery in the hardest-hit sectors remains elusive, showed an analysis by Kotak Institutional Equities.

The Naukri JobSpeak index contracted 47% on an annual basis in July, compared to a contraction of 44% in June 2020. It, however, continued to pickup on a month-on-month basis, growing 4.6% in July.

Most industries saw an increase in the number of new job postings in July compared to June, according to Kotak’s analysis of data from Naukri.com. Job postings in export/import, according to the research note dated Sept. 4, saw the sharpest pick-up, rising 78% month-on-month in July. Job openings, too, rose 35% month-on-month in media, entertainment, logistics and recruitment.

Besides, new job postings in these sectors had seen relatively lower rates of decline since March. While job postings in exports/imports shrank just 16% over the five-month period, pharma and healthcare industry job listings fell 22%. Pharma and healthcare, however, recorded a pick-up of 3% month-on-month in July.

On a month-on-month basis, the hospitality industry continued to remain the worst affected as of July-end, according to the research note.

Along with a decline of 80% over a five-month period, job listings in hotels, restaurants, airlines and travel shrank 5% month-on-month in July. Retailing, too, remained among the worst-affected sectors. While it recorded a decline of 70% over five months, new job listings continued to shrink by 2% in July compared to the previous month.

Job listings in education, teaching and training fell 22% monthly, declining by 54% over five months since March.

Broader Employment Concerns Persist

While some sectors are seeing a pick-up, broader employment concerns persist, said Saugata Bhattacharya, chief economist at Axis Bank, in a note on Friday.

“One of the biggest concerns during the health crisis is the loss of livelihoods and jobs. CMIE survey data shows that the unemployment rate has reverted closer to pre-Covid levels, but interpreting this is difficult, since shrinking of the labour force, particularly in urban areas,” Bhattacharya said.

According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, the unemployment rate rose to 8.35% in August 2020 compared to 7.43% the previous month. The U-turn in unemployment was led by a rise in rural unemployment, though urban unemployment also saw an uptick in August.

Rural unemployment rate rose to 7.65% in August compared to 6.66% in July—the lowest since January 2020. Urban unemployment rate rose to 9.83% in August compared with 9.15% in July, according to CMIE.

Both urban and rural unemployment rates have come off the peak of close to 25% in May.

“The obverse side of jobs loss being new hires, a more informal measure from a leading jobs portal suggest that employment and hiring have not improved in any meaningful sense. Across sectors, hiring activity remains subdued, half of July ’19 levels in major cities, and not much improved from May ’20 lows,” Bhattacharya said.

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