We have had report after report revealing disheartening information regarding job losses and economic downturns following the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Over 1.4 million jobs were lost in 2020, and only a fraction of this was expected to be recovered in 2021. Similar events have occurred on a global scale. Is there any good news? Read on and see how you should be pivoting your career, and adjusting expectations with regards to work and studies.
A report from PwC states: “In the first quarter of this year, South Africa had 11.4 million unemployed adults after a net 1.4 million jobs were lost in 2020,”. “We expect only 315,000 of these lost jobs to be recovered in 2021 as economic growth is held back by lockdowns, unrest and load-shedding.”
South Africa’s unemployment rate, sitting officially at 32.6% , is the third-highest globally after Bosnia and Herzegovina (32.7% in May) and Nigeria (33.3%). And this South African rate excludes some youth, and people that have simply give up looking for a job.
So, is there good news? It’s hard to come by. But there is some. In July 2021 demand for labour decreased by 6%, while job search stats indicate increased
competition in the job search market. Increased competition means that whether you are working or getting ready for job search, you need to stand out above other job seekers. How? Increase your skills level, your workplace readiness and update your CV.
The latest research from CareerJunction Index shows which occupational fields are currently the most sought-after skill sets in the job market:
- Software Development: Demand for software developers has been growing over the past few months. Year on year recruitment activity increased by 33%.
- Middle/Department Management: Managerial skills remain high in demand. Since January, recruitment activity for middle/department managers grew by 18%.
- Representative/Sales Consultants: Sales consultants remain highly demanded in the local labour market despite a fluctuating trend in recruitment activity. Recruitment activity for sales consultants grew by 22% year on year.
The employment rate of the animation and graphics graduates from Boston Media House showcases the increase in IT jobs and software development. With a close to 100% employment rate, developers are highly in demand, both locally and globally. Says Jeannette Campbell, Head of the Graduate Support Services at Boston, “Employers constantly approach us to supply them with skilled personnel in this field. The field is growing with new opportunities always available.”
The Information Technology field also show positions that are more popular, not just in IT but also in online jobs. There has been a recent spike in demand in these careers. These include:
Systems and Network Administration, with an average salary in Gauteng for an intermediate level position of R35,265 to R47,947 p.m. (Salaries in the western cape and Kwa Zulu Natal are lower.)
Team Leader and Supervisor, also great opportunities for a broader range of qualifications including BCom and Business Management Diploma.
And lastly Business Analysis, with a great monthly salary range of R45,277 to R58,545 p.m. For these positions one would need financial qualifications that include risk management and statistics.
Positive employment trends, according to CareerJunction have shown an upward scale in five sectors: information technology, architecture and engineering, sales, business & management, and manufacturing & assembly. Where does the most employment take place? With a move to online working and living, even schooling, we are seeing the uptick in opportunities in IT, business & management and finance sectors.
Boston also encourages entrepreneurial thinking in their students, as we cannot rely on job creation from the government, rather we need to create our own jobs as well as for the community. Corporates must get involved in small business development and empower owners largely by creating a physical and digital space, and providing resources such legal that will cut through red tape and get businesses established fast and above board. We have seen a corporate book and pay for a full colour full page advert in a community newspaper, and then create paid for advertisements in that space for 8 small businesses. Working together we can switch this economic downturn.
Author: Natalie Rabson, Skills Development Facilitator at Boston City Campus