Hiring Activity Declines 18% In March: Naukri JobSpeak

Hiring activity showed early signs of slowdown from January where the index grew by only 5.75 percent with no growth in February.

Daily wage laborers sit on a pavement while waiting for jobs in Kolkata, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)
Daily wage laborers sit on a pavement while waiting for jobs in Kolkata, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Hiring activity during March has declined by 18 percent compared to the same month in 2019 following the nationwide lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, with major impact in cities like Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad, according to Naukri JobSpeak Index.

The hiring activities showed early signs of slowdown from January where the index grew by only 5.75 percent followed by no growth in February.

The index for March 2020 stood at 1,954, showing a decline of 18 percent in hiring activity compared to March 2019 at 2,378.

The Naukri JobSpeak is a monthly Index which calculates and records hiring activity based on the job listings on website month-on-month.

The decline in hiring activity is led by industries like hotel, restaurants, travel, airlines (56 percent), retail (50 percent), auto and ancillary (38 percent), pharmaceutical (26 percent), insurance (11 percent), accounting and finance (10 percent), IT-software (9 percent) and BFSI (9 percent).

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The job market across cities registered a drop in hiring activity, the index revealed, adding that the decline was led by metros wherein Delhi declined by 26 percent followed by Chennai and Hyderabad at 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Hiring activity in Delhi and the National Capital Region witnessed a negative growth of 26 percent, where the hospitality and pharmaceutical industry saw a plunge in hiring by 66 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

Recruitment activity across all experience levels saw a negative growth where the demand for professionals in hospitality (63 percent), banking (28 percent), accounting (23 percent) and IT-Hardware (22 percent) sectors marked a substantial negative growth.

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Hiring in Chennai dropped by 24 percent and the demand for professionals in the hospitality, IT-software and banking industry saw a decline of 63 percent, 27 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the IT-hardware sector saw a growth of 14 percent in demand for professionals.

In Hyderabad, hiring decreased by 18 percent, wherein hospitality (62 percent), auto/ancillary (46 percent) and BFSI (40 percent) contributed to the overall decline in the Industry hiring.

Hiring across experience levels saw a dip of an average 24 percent, where the demand for professionals in the hospitality and banking sector witnessed a decline of 59 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

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There was an across the board decline in hiring activities at overall experience levels as well with senior experience bands (more than 13 years experience) witnessing the sharpest decline of 29 percent, while the entry-level experience band (0 to 7 years) saw a decline of 16 percent.

The pandemic crisis has impacted year-on-year growth in hiring activities leading to 18 percent decline. The negative sentiment on hiring was visible in the Index starting January, mirroring the economic trends, said Chief Business Officer Pawan Goyal.

Hiring activity for the first 20 days of March saw only a 5 percent decline. However, due to the nationwide lockdown, there was a substantial drop in recruitment activities in the last 10 days, which resulted in an overall drop of 18 percent in hiring, he said, adding that industries like hotel, travel, aviation and retail have declined the most during March.