The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the job market across industries due to lockdowns, paralysing several businesses and supply chains. However, digital and tech was one such industry that stood out among the rest in providing jobs in these unprecedented times.
“The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation across sectors and created a need for rapid and scaled deployment, thus reflected in the IT-Software industry,” states the recently released Naukri JobSpeak report.
Tech hiring peaked at an all-time high, recording a 39 percent growth in May 2021 over May 2019, adding a 14 percent month-on-month (M-O-M) growth in May 2021 over April 2021. The 14 percent increase in demand for tech professionals is attributed to bulk-hiring announced by tech firms.
Aggressive hiring has been observed for IT roles on Naukri.com from companies such as Adobe, IBM, Accenture, Oracle, Udaan, Flipkart, Meesho, Motorola, SAP, and Nike India among others, the report points out.
While at the overall hiring level, the Naukri JobSpeak index stabilized and turned flat (-1 percent) in May 2021, at 2,047 versus April this year, the report reveals.
The Naukri JobSpeak is a monthly index that measures hiring activity based on the job listings on the Naukri.com website (M-O-M). July 2008 is considered as the base with an index value of 1,000 and the subsequent monthly index is compared with the data for July 2008.
The monthly index analyses jobs based on white-collar, urban, belonging to organized corporate sector jobs with the focus on service industries. The report does not cover gig employment, hyperlocal hiring or campus placement.
"It is encouraging to see a much lesser impact of the second wave of the pandemic on the job economy versus last year," says Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer, Naukri.com.
"Even though the hiring activity declined by 15 percent in Apr’21 over Mar’21, we see hiring turning flat in May’21, signaling resilience and recovery. With the year 2021 seeing a strong wave of hyper-digitization, the IT sector continues to drive hiring, recording a robust 14 percent sequential growth in May’21. In fact, hiring for tech roles is at an all-time high versus pre-COVID levels; growing at 39 percent in May’21 over May’19," Goyal said.
Employment activity in the education/teaching sector grew by 7 percent in May 2021, following a continuous decline over the past few months. Recruitment in this sector was driven by EdTech startups such as Byjus, Vedantu, Toppr and Unacademy among others, the report notes.
Indian IT hubs like Pune (12 percent), Bangalore (9 percent), and Hyderabad (4 percent) saw an uptick in hiring activity in May 2021 over its previous month. Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, saw a 5 percent rise in an employment activity, attributed to the state’s successful measures in containing the spread of the disease.
On the contrary, hiring in Delhi/NCR remained impacted and declined by 11 percent in May this year over the previous month.
With the lockdowns and restrictions imposed during the second wave, the overall unemployment rate in India has reached 11.90 percent in May 2021 as against 6.50 percent in March and 7.97 percent in April this year, CMIE data show. Urban unemployment too has scaled to this year’s high at 14.73 percent in May over 9.78 percent in April 2021.
Strict containment measures leading to closures had a negative impact on hiring in the hospitality (-41 percent) and retail industries (-20 percent) in May 2021 over April 2021, the Naukri.com report notes. Other sectors which remained affected were banking/finance (-15 percent), FMCG (-13 percent), and BPO/ITES (-10 percent).
Amid these turbulent times, organisations are preferring experienced professionals. “Hiring activity for professionals with 8-12 years experience (4 percent) as well as more than 16 years experience (4 percent) grew sequentially in May’21,” the report highlights. While the hiring of freshers with 0-3 years experience saw a consistent decline (7 percent) over the past few months ending May 21.
In terms of year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, the overall hiring activity grew by 125 percent in May 2021 compared to last year. The IT-software industry grew by 200 percent over a year; retail (143 percent) auto/ancillary (108 percent) and education/teaching (105 percent) saw a good Y-O-Y recovery from last year, the report notes. The Pharma/Biotech (43 percent) sector, which remained afloat during the first wave, saw proportionate (y-o-y) growth in May 2021.