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Impact of Covid-19 on SA job market + how to find a job during these trying times!

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As South Africans start preparing for lower levels of Coronavirus lockdown regulations, Covid-19 continues to impact the SA job market. Job adverts have kept on declining for the last month. Here at Adzuna, we have analysed the latest job market data across the world to assess the industries that have been impacted the most.

💡The latest reports indicate that South Africa has lost between 21% and 38% of advertised vacancies since the start of this year.

This figure means that SA could be just as badly hit when it comes to vacancy reductions. This compared to countries like the UK (-49%), USA (-42%) and India (-37%). Unlike most other countries, South Africa has seen a massive drop in the number of cleaning and domestic help jobs. This sector has seen very few new jobs being posted since the end of March. The industry has had a decline in online postings of -85%.

Dire outlook for teaching and admin jobs

With our current lockdown situation and the fact that schools have been closed since 18 March, there has been a 48% reduction in total advertisements for teaching jobs compared to the stats that were observed at the start of this year. It is also interesting to note that despite the fact that warehouses are still operational across the country, vacancies in warehousing and logistics have plummeted by as much as 33%. Administrative job advertisements also continue to dwindle and have fallen by a massive 70%.

Adzuna has been observing a continual decline in hospitality and catering job adverts since before the national lockdown started. This is something that has not changed. There has been an overall loss of 69% of online listings in the hospitality sector since the start of March this year. Other industries that have been hit hard by the impact include property (-74%), retail (-60%), construction (-50%) and sales (-49%).

Coronavirus affecting SA job market

How coronavirus has impacted the SA job market

Domestic workers and cleaning jobs (-85%)

In countries like the UK, there has actually been an increase in the amount of domestic and cleaning job advertisements. But the same cannot be said for the South African job market. With the very strict lockdown measures that were implemented on the 26th of March, domestic workers and general cleaners were not allowed to work. As we move to lower levels of the risk-adjusted reopening of the economy, this is something that might change. We do expect to see this figure improving as certain sectors start reopening and the need for hygiene services increase.


Consultancy jobs (+61%)

We have seen an increase of 61% in online advertisements for consultancy jobs within the country. This is the only sector of the SA job market that’s seen a drastic increase in online job postings. The only other sectors that have had an increase in the number of ads online are social work, energy, and maintenance jobs with increases of 23%, 24%, and 17% respectively.


Manufacturing jobs (-37%)

Manufacturing jobs are down 37%. There seems to be a consistent downward trend across the industry since the start of our national state of disaster. The average salary for manufacturing jobs in South Africa is R513,483 and the top two companies currently hiring within the industry are AVI and Aspen Pharmacare.


Energy jobs (+24%)

Vacancies within the energy sector have increased by 24% since the outbreak of the coronavirus. This impact is significantly lower than the impact being felt in other countries with a drop of 21% in global vacancies. The increase in advertisements for these jobs might be due to the fact that this sector falls within the essential services category. As more South Africans are forced to stay home, the demand for these services has increased substantially.


Hospitality and catering jobs (-69%)

Aside from domestic work jobs, the hospitality and catering industry has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 crisis. The sector has lost three-quarters of all advertised vacancies in the year to date (-69%). With South Africa’s risk-based reopening of the economy that won’t see tourism being prioritised until at least level 2, this is expected to continue to decline.

Job Category% Change in Advertised Positions
Accounting & Finance-12.17%
Creative & Design-8.17%
Domestic Help & Cleaning-85.49%
Healthcare & Nursing-31.78%
Hospitality & Catering-68.88%
HR & Recruitment-4.31%
Logistics & Warehousing-33.75%
Social Work+23.88%
Trade & Construction-50.36%

💡 Jesse Green, country manager, comments:We should expect a further decline in online job advertisements across South Africa. Even more so within the tourism sector. The impact of the decline in jobs is already disrupting the economy. We’ve seen massive reductions in ads across the board and the impact that the decline of vacancy has on sectors like manufacturing will be felt by thousands of businesses in the weeks to come.”


Finding a job during the Covid-19 crisis

At the moment, it might not seem like the ideal time to apply for a new job. The majority of South Africans are buckling under the pressure of lockdown and risk-based relaxation levels of the national lockdown. Sadly, a lot of us are also facing great job uncertainty. If you’re faced with having to find a new job during these trying times, you’re going to need all the help you can get, and that’s exactly where Adzuna comes in.

The pandemic hasn’t only significantly impacted the global economy. It has also affected your job search and hopes of finding a job during coronavirus. From causing stock market volatility to crippling certain industries, there are very few aspects of life (pre-2020) that the novel coronavirus hasn’t impacted.

SA job market affected by Covid-19

Should you be looking for a new job right now?

It’s pretty obvious that if you’re a risk case, it isn’t safe to pursue jobs that’ll see you interacting with others. There is nothing more important than your health. This means that a role where you can work from home might be the best option right now.


What kind of jobs are on offer?

Since Adzuna lists all the vacancies in SA all in one place, it really is one of the best places to start your job search. We have observed a big dip in the number of vacancies on our website as old job ads expire and fewer new ones replace them. Take a look at our tips for job hunting during the pandemic here.

One of the best places to see what’s on offer out there is by using Adzuna’s “Advanced Search” tool. Here you’ll be able to find jobs that have been posted in the last week. Narrowing down your search to only display jobs that have been uploaded in the last 24 hours is another way to ensure the results you’re getting are as fresh as can be. Depending on whether or not you can travel around, you might want to have a look at our remote listings too if you need to work from home.

Remember that the competition is fierce right now, across the board. It’s important to prioritise recently added jobs. These indicate that a company has an urgent role that needs to be filled. Job ads that have been around for weeks might not be of any importance right now, which means it might not even be worth applying for.


What jobs are South Africans searching for?

On, the number of searches for remote jobs have tripled since March. It is also interesting to see that more and more people are actively searching for opportunities to telecommute and work from the safety of their homes.

Searches for “work from home” and “online” jobs have also increased significantly. There was a 21% increase in the number of searches for nursing jobs. Adzuna also noted an increase in the number of searches done for delivery driving jobs.

There has been quite a substantial drop in the number of searches for “general job” and “part-time”  opportunities. From the look of things, there might be far less competition in jobs that can’t be performed from home and don’t involve cleaning, retail and delivery.

Finding a job during coronavirus crisis

Which companies are hiring?

Jobs in restaurants (and the hospitality sector as a whole) are understandably almost non-existent at the moment. This is due to the fact that the majority of these businesses are closed. The good news is that grocery stores still need staff and there are also still openings in the logistics sector.

💡Green explains:Even though strict social distancing measures are being taken, companies still need to hire new employees. This might be why we are seeing staggered hiring trends. But it’s worth noting that even though things have slowed down, not all industries have halted their recruitment and hiring efforts.”

Consultancy jobs were some of the only jobs that actually increased significantly during the first few weeks of the crisis. We’re also expecting an increase in cleaning jobs as the economy slowly re-opens and the need for hygiene services increases among shops and buildings.

Not all industries have been crippled by the pandemic. Jobs in customer service, warehousing, packaging, accounting and healthcare are still in demand. Albeit the demand might be a bit lower than it was at the start of the year. It is critical to apply for positions that fit your experience. A role as a marketing consultant might not be on the cards within a hospitality company right now. But the same role might be available at a pharmaceutical company.


Where are all the jobs?

The SA job market has already suffered significantly due to the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown regulations. The number of jobs being advertised has almost halved since the start of the year. And the decline has had a disproportionate effect on most sectors and industries in the country.

But have jobs been lost all across the country? Or are some areas in the country now proving to be career hotspots? Adzuna observed a difference between one area and the next, but in general, it looks like the decline has been uniform.

💡 Although there were just under 60,000 live ads on Adzuna in the middle of May, 30% of those jobs were located in Gauteng and 29% of all jobs in South Africa were based in the Western Cape. This means that Gauteng and the Western Cape are still the country’s economic hotspots for landing a job.


What to do if you don’t get a response

The economic crisis we’re facing changes the entire ball game. Even prospects that give it their all are struggling to stay on top of things. If you don’t hear back after applying for a job, try your best not to feel disheartened. Adzuna has put together a handy guide to help you stay motivated during the Covid-19 job search process. This might be a challenging time which calls for some additional training. It might even require re-doing your CV to suit different jobs. But it’s not the end of the world. This might be a great time to reach out to your network, and if you don’t have an expansive one already, we’ve got some great tips to help you during and after the lockdown period.


How to ace virtual interviews

If you’ve been lucky and have been selected to progress to a round or two of video interviews, congratulations!. Your resilience and persistence actually paid off. But before you start doing the happy dance, it’s important to keep in mind that successfully conducting a video interview isn’t as simple as being on time. Regardless of whether your interview is scheduled for Skype, Zoom or Hangouts, we’ve got some amazing advice to help you make the most of your virtual interview.


remote working

Need more help?

Adzuna is here to help you during these tough times by giving you access to the information you need most. Take a look at our blog to find the latest information on the SA job market. We also have some great tips to help you overcome these tough times!