The analysis and findings serve as a foundation for potential HR solutions and strategies, enabling businesses and recruitment agencies to focus on relevant occupations when developing their talent attraction and retention strategies.
Paul Byrne, head of insights at Saongroup Africa, sheds some light on the June 2022 employment insights with the spotlight being on: admin, office and support sectors.
Following the minor drop in advertised vacancies in April, there was a slight uptake in recruitment activity during May 2022. Online hiring activity continues to show a positive trajectory, with an increase of 24% between May 2021 and May 2022.
However, South Africa’s unemployment rate drops to 34.5%. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released 35% its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey 30% on 31 May 2022, revealing that the country’s unemployment rate reduced by 0.8 of a percentage point to 34.5% in Unemployment rate Q1:2011 to Q1:2022, compared to Q4:2021.
The survey also confirmed that there were 10% about 370,000 more employees in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022 than in 5% the fourth quarter of 2021. New jobs were most prevalent in community and social 0% services (281,000), manufacturing (263,000) and trade (98,000).
This means there were about 370,000 more people employed in Q1:2022 than in Q4:2021.
Is this trend mirrored in the local job market?
The latest data reveals that there was a (seasonally adjusted) 4% increase in average vacancies per month between the final quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. There was a further increase in job opportunities in April and May. The monthly average of vacancies has increased by 8% since the fourth quarter of 2021.
Which sectors and what kind of jobs are driving the increased trend in jobs?
The job sectors that have seen the biggest increase in job opportunities since Q4:2021 are:
ccording to Stats SA findings, manufacturing saw a decline in employment in Q2:2021 (-89,000) and Q3:2021 (-85,000), but then experienced a positive shift in employment (+263,000) during the first quarter of 2022.
The data shows that the recent uptake of employment in manufacturing surpassed the drop in employment during Q2 and Q3 2021. As a result, employment within manufacturing increased by 5.5% year-on-year.
CareerJunction’s data reveals that the online job market has experienced a similar trend: year-on-year, job opportunities within manufacturing and assembly have increased by 22%.
What are the increased job opportunities since Q4:2021?
Jobseekers within admin, office and support; warehousing and logistics; finance; cleaning, maintenance and repair as well as architecture and engineering have also been experiencing improved employment prospects since the beginning of the year. Vacancies within these job sectors have increased by over 17% since the fourth quarter of 2021.
Vacancies within building and construction; sales; and business and management have increased by between 8% and 13% since the final quarter of 2021.
Significant growth in candidates signing up to search and apply for jobs was evident for the following sectors:
Education, training and library
- Teacher/training assistance
- Mentoring and coaching
Manufacturing and assembly
- Quality control
- Process control
- Supply chain control
Medical and health
- Nursing/professional care-giving
Recruitment per location statistics
Looking at recruitment per location, Gauteng still has the majority of the country's vacancies (52%). Just over 30% of job offers are located in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). International work opportunities are currently scarce, with job offers at 3%.
Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal all show an increased demand for professionals in design, media and arts and architecture and engineering as well as the legal sectors over the last two years. The Western Cape experienced a decrease in hiring activity for design, media and arts professionals between 2020 and 2021. Similar trends were evident for architecture and engineering professionals in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal between 2020 and 2021. Overall, however, recruitment activity has grown significantly across all three professional sectors over the last 12 months.
Impact of Covid-19
According to Stats SA’s latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, of the 40 million working age population in Q1:2022, more than half (51.6%) were youth. Individuals in the 15-24 age bracket and 25-34 age bracket experienced the highest unemployment rates of 63.9% and 42.1% respectively.
The country’s youth experienced many of the job losses that occurred during pandemic. This could be partly attributed to the fact that when it comes to job cuts, the “last one in” is often “the first one out”. Younger employees with less experience and fewer years of service face a greater risk in this regard.
Another reason for the high youth unemployment figures during Covid-19 could be attributed to the impact of the lockdowns on the hospitality and entertainment sectors, which directly affected ‘younger’ jobs like waitering or bartending.
The negative impact of Covid-19 on youth employment is not only a South African trend. According to the International Labour Organisation, youth employment dropped by 8.7% globally in 2020. For older individuals, the decline in employment was less severe, registering at 3.7%. This difference shows the extent of Covid-19’s impact on younger people.
Looking at job market movement during South Africa’s national Covid-19 lockdowns between Q2:2020 and Q1:2021, over 63% of job leavers were below the age of 35 years.
Were certain sectors and job roles more affected than others by the ‘leaving trend’ during the Covid-19 lockdowns?
The sectors with the highest number of job leavers (ages 15-34) between Q2:2020 and Q1:2021 were as follows:
- Admin, office and support
- Business and management
- Education, training and library
- Information technology
- Manufacturing and assembly
- Warehousing and logistics
- Building and construction
- Cleaning, maintenance and repair
The job roles with the highest number of youth job leavers (ages 15-34) within the admin, office and support sector during this period were admin clerks, client and customer support roles, and tellers and cashiers.
Sales experienced the highest number of youth job leavers during the same period for representative/sales consulting roles.
The CareerJunction Employment Insights report is based on comprehensive data gathered from Saongroup South Africa - where around 5,000 of the country’s top recruiters (both agencies and employers) advertise their positions to millions of registered jobseekers. For customised data enquiries, get in touch at az.oc.noitcnujreerac@sthgisni.