Trouble for jobseekers in South Africa

 ·21 May 2024

Hiring activity in South Africa is down, with more job seekers fighting for the few jobs available.

According to CareerJunction’s latest employment insights for Q1 2024, hiring activity dropped by 11% compared to Q1 2023.

“Slowing hiring activity evident in the South African recruitment market may be partly attributed to
current economic uncertainty,” said CareerJunction.

“Economic instability or uncertainty, whether domestic or global, can dampen business confidence and investment, leading companies to be cautious about expanding their workforce.”

“Factors such as fluctuations in commodity prices, political instability, or changes in government policies can all contribute to economic uncertainty.”

Source: CareerJunction

Overall, none of the four specific sectors looked at by CareerJunction saw an increase in hiring activity, with the IT sector the hardest hit:

  • Admin, Office & Support – down 9% year-on-year

  • Business & Management – down 7% year-on-year

  • Finance – down 9% year-on-year

  • IT – down 26% year-on-year

CareerJunction said that analysing jobseeker engagement – the number of applications per job advert – allows for insightful market views of labour dynamics.

Although jobseeker engagement is usually high during the first quarter of the year, it increased significantly by 13% from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024, indicating elevated competition in the job search market.

Source: CareerJunction

All four specific sectors saw increases in jobseeker engagement activity, with the IT sector seeing the most significant increase:

  • Admin, Office & Support – Up 2% year-on-year

  • Business & Management – Up 7% year-on-year

  • Finance – Up 10% year-on-year

  • IT – Up 24% year-on-year

Rough start to the year

Despite the start of the year typically being the time when the most hiring activity occurs, the first quarter of 2024 even saw a drop in hiring activity from Q4 2024.

Hiring activity decreased for IT (-15%), Business & Management (-7%), and Finance (-6%) professionals quarter-on-quarter.

No sector saw growth in hiring activity in the three months from the prior quarter.

Source: CareerJunction

Read: More pension pain on the cards for South Africans: Coronation

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