India’s job market remains mute, hiring drops: Report

India’s job market continues to see a slowdown, with hiring dropping by 2 per cent month-over-month (m-o-m), while on a year-on-year (y-o-y) scale, the overall index reflected a 10 per cent decline, according to the foundit Insights Tracker (fit) for November 2023.

In November 2022, the index dropped from 277 to 249, reflecting a stagnant hiring scenario.

However, India’s economic outlook remains promising, especially in the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) sector, which is expected to bridge the employment gap. According to a recent report from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), the unemployment rate decreased from 7.2 per cent to 6.6 per cent in the September quarter.

Sekhar Garisa, CEO of foundit, expressed optimism, stating that despite subdued hiring, the country’s economic resilience is evident. He anticipates an improvement in the job market in the coming months, fostering stability and growth.

On a m-o-m basis, the Government, PSU and Defence industries showed the highest increase of 14 per cent in job postings. Government initiatives such as ‘Make In India’ and Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana have played a significant role in reducing unemployment. In addition, the rapid expansion of metro rail and railways also contributes to youth employment.

The office equipment and automation sector saw a 4 per cent growth in hiring, driven by the demand for skills to interact with smart machines incorporating AI and IoT. Retail (3 per cent) and Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals (2 per cent) also experienced growth, with seasonal hiring in the retail industry indicating low unemployment during festive seasons.

Cities like Coimbatore (13 per cent increase), Kochi (4 per cent), and Jaipur (2 per cent) stand out with positive hiring trends, while Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune recorded a decline of 5 per cent, 6 per cent, and 4 per cent, respectively. Several cities, including Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi-NCR, and Chennai, maintained relatively stable hiring environments with subtle declines.

Job roles in purchase, logistics, and supply chain saw a 6 per cent increase in online hiring. Finance and accounts witnessed a 5 per cent surge, reflecting demand for expertise in financial analysis, risk management, and evolving technologies like data analytics and AI.

However, there was a downward trend in hiring for engineering and production (-5 per cent), senior management positions (-4 per cent), sales and development (-4 per cent), and customer service (-4 per cent). Marketing and communications roles, along with software, hardware, and telecommunications roles, experienced moderate demand.

In the current job market, those with 0 to 3 years of experience have an advantage over senior and mid-senior-level professionals. Data shows a downturn in hiring for mid-senior-level (-7 per cent) and senior professionals (-6 per cent).

Salary ranges vary from ₹2,10,994 to ₹3,94,794 for freshmen, while professionals with 11–15 years of experience earn between ₹19,60,577 to ₹33,09,292.

The IT industry offers the highest salaries across all experience levels, followed by the banking, financial services, and insurance industries. This is attributed to the high demand for skilled IT professionals in India, making it the highest-paying industry for entry-level professionals as well. The BPO/ITES industry has the lowest salary ranges for all experience levels, followed by the education industry.

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