Good news for jobseekers in South Africa – the sectors that are hiring, and the skills they’re looking for

Research conducted by recruitment firm Pnet shows that most job sectors in South Africa are returning to pre-pandemic levels of hiring activity, with job vacancies almost across the board.

The research is based on a database of over five million registered users on Pnet’s platform and assesses the first quarter of 2022 versus the first quarter of 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Pnet’s research reveals that the number of vacancies in the South African job market have been reaching record highs.

“Not only is this likely to boost the confidence of candidates seeking new employment, but it is also a significant indicator of returning business confidence,” it said.

Q1 2022 saw a seasonally adjusted 8.5% increase in job openings compared to the last quarter of 2021. Using Q1 2020 data as the baseline (100%), Pnet’s data shows that most sectors in South Africa are currently showing increased vacancies, pointing to many more job opportunities in the market.

The medical & health sector is up 30%, security & emergency services up 28%, manufacturing & assembly up 25% and legal is up 20%.

Jobseekers in these occupations are facing dramatically improved employment prospects compared to two years ago, Pnet said.

Employment opportunities have also increased within the design, media & arts sector as well as the science & technology, information technology, admin, office & support, restaurant & hospitality and cleaning, maintenance & repair sectors.

On the other side of the market, employment opportunities are currently tracking below Q1 2020 levels in the education, training & library sector, the warehousing & logistics sector as well as the finance sector, the group said.

“At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020, no one could imagine the impact it would have on the economy and the job market. It is encouraging to see that employers are hiring 8.3% more than they were two years ago,” it said.

Pnet said it has noted an uptick in hiring for remote roles in South Africa, with most remote job opportunities found in the IT, business management and office admin sectors. Remote hiring is at its highest point since the Covid pandemic began, and has only increased over the last two years.

Remote job offers have more than tripled since Q1 2021, it said.

Regionally, most job opportunities are found in Gauteng, with Pnet recording a constant surge of new vacancies in the province. In the first quarter of 2022, the province comprised 53% of overall labour demand, followed by the Western Cape at 22% and KwaZulu Natal, at 10%.

“There is a clear emphasis on the demand for IT skills in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions,” Pnet said. “Across all regions, candidates with business & management expertise are highly sought after. Companies in all regions of the country require a relatively high amount of finance & admin as well as office & support staff.”

These are the main skills being sought after across South Africa:

Region Main skills in demand
Gauteng Information technology, business management, finance
Western Cape Information technology
KwaZulu Natal Business management, finance, sales, admin and support
Mpumalanga Business management, sales
Eastern Cape Building and construction
North West Business management, sales, finance
Free State Business management, sales
Limpopo Business managment
Northern Cape Medical and health, building and construction
International Business managment

Salaries

Pnet highlighted market-related salaries on offer across selected roles within the IT, finance and business management sectors:

Information technology

  • C# development: R39,000 – R58,000 pm
  • Java development: R44,000 – R64,000 pm
  • .Net development: R39,000 – R56,000 pm
  • Full stack development: R36,000 – R60,000 pm

Fianance

  • Bookkeeping: R19,000 – R21,000 pm
  • Accounts payable / receivable: R18,000 – R22,000 pm
  • Financial or project accounting: R30,000 – R38,000 pm

Business and management

  • Middle or department management: R37,000 – R52,000 pm
  • Senior management: R76,000 – R99,000 pm
  • Team lead or supervisor: R25,000 – R34,000 pm

Read: SARS wants to grow its workforce by 800 people – these are the skills it wants

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Good news for jobseekers in South Africa – the sectors that are hiring, and the skills they’re looking for