The latest CareerJunction Index (CJI) report showed a strong downward trend in demand for IT professionals in South Africa.
The CJI is based on data gathered from the CareerJunction website and monitors the labour market in South Africa by examining supply and demand trends.
While some IT skills like software development are still in strong demand, the overall demand for IT professionals weakened significantly over the past 12 months.
This is a result of weakening economic conditions in South Africa which have resulted in many IT and telecoms companies cutting staff.
The tough market conditions led to Telkom planning to cut 3,000 jobs, Massmart shutting down its Dion Wired stores, and Atio closing its doors after 34 years.
Tough conditions to continue in 2020
Labour consultant Tony Healy said he expects the tough trading conditions and job losses to continue in the coming year.
“Without economic growth, one just can’t create the jobs that we need to stave off job cuts,” he said.
Nedbank chief economist Dennis Dykes said that what we are seeing is capitulation – with companies realising the much-needed economic growth will not come.
“We need growth levels above 5% before we can begin to realistically say that we are growing fast enough to reverse the job losses we are seeing now,” said Dykes.
He said companies have already done what they can to cut jobs and trim their budgets in anticipation of an uptick in the economy.
“They are now basically thinking it is not going to happen, and are therefore turning to more serious interventions, including job cuts, to survive.”
Demand for IT professionals
The graph below shows the volume trend for IT job adverts published on the CareerJunction website over the past 12 months.