These are the most in-demand jobs in South Africa

 ·13 Mar 2024

Jobs in finance and sales are the most in demand in South Africa, with the labour market taking a hit from the delayed start to the school year.

This is according to Pnet’s Job Market Trends Report, which looks at the jobs and sectors that have been most in demand over the previous month.

From January 2022 to January 2024, there was a 4% decrease in recruitment activity.

Year-on-year, the figure is worst, dropping by 8% from January 2023.

“January 2024 showed low hiring activity for this time of the year,” said Pnet.

“This is partly attributed to the long school holiday period. School holidays have a significant impact on economic activity and productivity since a substantial part of the country’s workforce takes leave during school holidays,”

“In 2022, the first day of school was 12 January; in 2023, the first day of school was 11 January; this year, the first day of school was 17 January. As a result, January 2024 was left with significantly fewer working days (after the school holidays) compared to the years before.”

The simple delay in the start of the school year had an immediate impact on hiring and economic activity.

Looking at January’s hiring activity, these are trending jobs that showed increased demand for workers and professionals.

  • Retail (Sales)

  • Credit Management (Finance)

  • Accounts Payable/Receivable (Finance)

  • Bookkeeping (Finance)

  • Representative/ Sales Consulting (Sales)


Despite the overall drop in hiring activity, several sectors have also increased hiring over the year.

Sector-specific hiring activity affects not only the local job market but also the state of the South African economy. Stable and increasing recruitment activity indicates confidence in the local economy and business growth.

Pnet said that the top trending sectors showing year-on-year growth are:

Cleaning, Maintenance & Repair

There was a 20% increase in hiring activity year-on-year, with the sector seeing stable hiring activity over the past 13 months.

In Q4 2023, the sector experienced elevated hiring activity.

Building & Construction

Year-on-year, there was a +23% increase in hiring activity.

Despite hiring activity decreasing in December and January, this sector experienced growing recruitment activity throughout most of 2023.

Architecture & Engineering

Year-on-year, there was a 17% increase in hiring activity.

Much like building & construction, there was a drop in December and January, but hiring activity remained steady in 2023.

Read: Employees in South Africa give the middle finger to the latest work from home shift

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