Some hope for SA work seekers as online job ads start to bounce back

Business Insider SA
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  • After almost 40% of online jobs ads were scrapped during the first weeks of lockdown, there has been a strong recovery. 
  • South Africa now has "only" 8% fewer job ads than at the start of March. 
  • Its job vacancy recovery has been much stronger than in other markets, according to the online job aggregator Adzuna. 
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After almost 40% of online job ads were scrapped during the first phase of South Africa’s stringent national lockdown, there has been a strong recovery in available vacancies.

A new report compiled by Adzuna, an online job aggregator, shows that there are now only 8% fewer online job ads than at the start of March.

Adzuna, which is headquartered in the UK, compiles online jobs data for a number of countries and found that the bounce-back in South African job vacancies has been much stronger than in many other markets:

Source: Adzuna

“The Covid-19 case count has rapidly increased over the last four weeks. Now, right in the thick of it, South Africa’s job market has gained back most of the lost vacancy count,” Jesse Green, country manager for Adzuna South Africa, told Business Insider.

On Wednesday, South Africa recorded its biggest daily Covid-19 death toll yet: 572 fatalities, as infection rates surge.

The pandemic has also had a devastating impact on livelihoods, with National Treasury estimating that between 690 000 and 1.79 million jobs will be lost due to the impact of Covid-19.

According to Adzuna’s data, almost 60% of all online advertised jobs in the hospitality sector were scrapped by April. Ads for domestic cleaners fell by 85%.  

But Green says that while many industries – including construction – were badly hit, “what we didn’t foresee was that South Africans would be able to come up with unique employment opportunities to help fill the gaps in the job market and address the concerns raised by the pandemic at the same time,”

By mid-July, posts directly related to Covid-19 increased by more than 300% compared to April.

These primarily include jobs for registered nurses, as well as pharmacy assistants and occupational health specialists who can help companies assist sick workers.

"Covid safety officers" and "Covid-19 compliance officers" are new positions for people who can develop, implement, and improve health and safety plans, programmes and procedures in the workplace.

READ | These 'coronavirus jobs' are in demand in SA, including Covid-19 safety officers and tutors

There are also more positions in sanitising products sales, and sewing, for the manufacturing of masks and other personal protective equipment.

Adzuna also saw an “unprecedented” increase in remote working positions in South Africa over the last few months.

“If nothing else, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a massive indication of just how adaptable the workforce is and how easy it is for businesses to rely on the virtual presence of their employees,” says Green.

A timeline of South Africa’s online job vacancies, with key moments from the Covid-19 crisis. Source: Adzuna

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