Demand for these job skills is dropping fast in South Africa

 ·23 Feb 2023

Job portal CareerJunction has published its latest employment insights overview for February 2023, revealing a decrease in hiring activity.

According to the report, there was no significant growth in hiring activity for any sector over the last three months, reflecting a stunted job market in the country.

The data used in the report was gathered from Saongroup South Africa, a platform where millions of registered jobseekers can access job listings posted by approximately 5,000 of South Africa’s leading recruiters.

In a surprising change, the group said, there was a 3% decline in hiring activity in the country – particularly in the Sales, Admin, Office & Support, Information Technology and Business & Management sectors.

These sectors have seen the most significant decline in hiring activity.

“Year-on-year, however, hiring activity increased by 3% between January 2022 and January 2023,” CareerJunction said.

The following sectors and the skills associated showed the biggest decline in hiring activity:

Sales (-19%)

  • Representative/ Sales consulting
  • Account management

Admin, Office & Support (-17%)

  • Teller/ cashier
  • Human resources
  • Client/ Customer support
  • Secretary
  • Admin clerk

Information Technology (-14%)

  • Software development
  • Business analysis
  • IT project administration/ management
  • Database design/ development/ administration
  • Data analysis/ data warehousing

Business & Management (-9%)

  • Middle/ department management
  • Executive management/ director
  • Business development
  • Team leader & supervisor

Declining hiring activity at the start of the year signals bad news for South Africa’s job market, which already suffers from obscenely high levels of unemployment. The situation is likely to be exacerbated further by low economic growth projected for 2023, and a possible technical recession, driven by elevated levels of load shedding.

In January, the South African Reserve Bank revised its GDP growth projections for 2023 to a paltry 0.3%. During the budget, the National Treasury revealed on Wednesday (22 February) that its expectations are slightly more bullish – but its projections remain pedestrian at 0.9%.

Meanwhile, economists are predicting a GDP decline for the fourth quarter of 2022 due to the non-stop load shedding experienced over the last three months of the year. Load shedding has continued at elevated levels every day of 2023 so far, signalling bad news for growth prospects in the first quarter of the year.

According to CareerJunction, there was an increase in candidates signing up to search and apply for jobs was evident for the following sectors.

Design, media & arts

  • Journalism/ writing/ editing
  • Graphic/ print/ packaging design
  • Web design/ multimedia/ 3D design

Medical & health

  • Nursing/ professional caregiving
  • Pharmacist
  • General practitioner

Sport & fitness

  • Coach/ sports teacher/ instructor

Regional differences

CareerJunction also indicated where most of the hiring activity is taking place in South Africa.

Gauteng currently has the most advertised job vacancies (54%), while 22% of job offers are in the Western Cape, followed by 10% in KwaZulu-Natal.

The jobs portal said there had been a decline in demand for information technology over multiple year-on-year periods between November and December, adding Gauteng, the Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal faced the biggest declines.

In terms of the medical and health sector, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal saw a decline in demand between December 2022 and January 2023. Gauteng saw a dip in the periods prior. However, it saw slight growth during December 2022 and January 2023.

There has been consistent growth in demand for the warehousing and logistics sector over the past three years in all major provinces, including Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, reported CareerJunction.

Medical & Health

While hiring activity is declining, opportunities still exist in specialised skill areas.

CareerJunction highlighted significant job opportunity growth for the medical and health sector, mainly in Gauteng (51%), KwaZulu-Natal (15%) and the Western Cape (12%), with these scarce skills being in particular demand:

  • General practitioner
  • Occupational health nurse practitioner
  • Emergency doctor

Some market-related salaries applicants can expect in the field include:

  • Pharmacist – R39,934 to R49,238 per month
  • Registered nurse – R20,997 to R29,113 per month
  • Medical doctor – R43,333 to R82,916 per month

Read: SARS is not slowing down – despite red flags over South Africa’s shrinking tax base

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter