One of the biggest worries many have about the current COVID-19 lockdown is that it will hurt the job market, and many have already lost their jobs as a result.
The National Treasury predicted earlier this month that over 7 million jobs could be lost in South Africa as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Business for South Africa predicted a figure of 4 million jobs being at risk, and said the economy could contract by 16% this year if lockdown rules aren’t eased at an increased pace.
CareerJunction’s figures show that new job opportunities are also scarce and demand for labour decreased by 36% in April, while job search activity decreased by 41% over the same period.
To determine how the ICT industry has been affected by job losses, MyBroadband spoke to CareerJunction about job trends in the ICT industry on its platform.
CareerJunction told MyBroadband that while most sectors have experienced a significant decrease in hiring activity due to the national lockdown, there are a few sectors that seem less affected by it.
One of these is the ICT sector.
“Looking at ICT professionals specifically, the national lockdown had hardly any impact on recruitment activity for data analysis/data warehousing skills as well as software development skills,” said CareerJunction.
It added that software development remains the most in-demand skill in the South African job market.
However, not all areas of the ICT field have held their ground as well.
“On the other hand, demand for ICT professionals such as business analysts, database administrators and developers, UX and GUI designers, system analysts, project managers, and systems and network administrators decreased by more than 24% since South Africa moved into lockdown,” CareerJunction said.
Overall, however, ICT remains a popular field in South Africa, CareerJunction said.
“ICT skills remain high in demand in the South African labour market. At CareerJunction, we foresee this trend to continue and evolve in the next few years. ”
Sectors that have struggled
In contrast to the ICT sector, CareerJunction said the following sectors have struggled when it comes to hiring activity:
- Building and construction
- Architecture and engineering
- Office and support
The relative strength of the ICT market during the COVID-19 pandemic is in alignment with reports published about other countries.
Analysis from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) found that IT and technology job vacancies are dominating the London hiring market.
According to this data, IT accounts for 35% of all vacancies during lockdown – compared to the usual 15%.
“The fact that hiring is still continuing with relative strength in IT is perhaps unsurprising due to the ongoing need across most sectors to conduct operations remotely, but is nonetheless encouraging during these testing times,” said APSCo CEO Ann Swain.