Tougher times and greater competition for available jobs lie ahead for much of the South African labour market.
Retrenchments have become a serious reality with the slowdown in the economy and the unemployment rate is likely to increase in 2009.
This is according to the latest CareerJunction Index (CJI) that provides recruiters and job seekers with monthly insights into sector based online recruitment trends by analysing the supply (job seekers) and demand (jobs advertised) of talent across various sectors.
Some brief key findings in the latest CareerJunction Index indicate a significant drop from 107,76 index points in December 2008 to 50,94 index points in January 2009.
"This decline gives a clear indication of the impact that the global recession is starting to have on the online labour market in South Africa. Economic growth and job creation have evidently slowed down in the past few months," says Kris Jarzebowski, CEO of CareerJunction.
A drop in demand (jobs) has been seen across all industries, particularly in the motor and mining industries which have announced job cuts due to the global financial crisis. This has led to an increasing number of online labour supply (job seekers), while demand (jobs) is steadily decreasing.
The online labour market dynamics indicate that the human resources, engineering & distribution, warehousing & freight industries have also seen a big slump, each of these industries having experienced a decline in demand of more than 50% since December 2008.
Within the online recruitment space, industries such as engineering, IT, petrochemical and building & construction show a high demand for labour with an average of less than five career-seekers per job ad.
Previously, the supply of candidates for these sectors was inadequate and struggled to meet the demand due to skills shortage. Although these industries still display the highest demand, their levels of demand have decreased revealing more skilled supply, thus giving recruiters better recruitment prospects to meet the demand.
The finance industry is also benefiting from the current high supply of candidates. The industry experienced a remarkable decline in demand over the past six months but, where there is a high supply of candidates, competition for available jobs intensifies between job seekers.