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Most sectors in SA are hiring again – but jobs in schools and warehouses are harder to find


  • South Africa’s embattled labour market is recovering, with most sectors’ hiring activity matching or exceeding levels last seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Job openings in the medical and health sector have increased by 30% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to two years ago, according to Pnet’s 2022 Job Market Trends Report.
  • Businesses in the security and emergency services sector also have a lot more openings.
  • But job hunters are less likely to find work in the education, training, and library industry, as well as in warehousing and logistics.
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South Africa’s job market is slowly recovering after two years of layoffs and reduced hiring activity, with businesses in most sectors now actively looking to employ.

The Covid-19 pandemic threw South Africa’s already embattled economy into a tailspin. Businesses closed – either temporarily or permanently – with hundreds of thousands of job losses ratcheting the country’s unemployment rate to record highs.

Few sectors have been spared retrenchments as companies attempted to cut costs and stay afloat. Similarly, hiring activity remained depressed throughout much of 2020 and 2021.

But there are signs of recovery. The demand for labour is looking more positive, with most sectors’ hiring activity back to pre-Covid levels, according to Pnet’s 2022 Job Market Trends Report.

Vacancies in the South African job market, determined by data sourced from Saongroup South Africa’s online recruitment platforms, increased by 8.3% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to two years ago during the same period.

“Pnet’s research reveals that the number of vacancies in the South African job market is now reaching record highs,” noted the report published earlier in May.

“Jobseekers in various occupations are seeing dramatically improved employment prospects compared to two years ago.”

Hiring activity in the medical and health sector has increased by 30%, showing the strongest recovery over the past two years, according to Pnet’s research. Job openings in security and emergency services and manufacturing and assembly have increased by 28% and 25%, respectively.

And although most sectors are showing a full recovery of hiring activity, there are some industries which are still below pre-pandemic levels.

Jobs in the education, training and library aren’t as easy to find, with demand still 3% behind pre-pandemic levels. Hiring activity in warehousing and logistics has almost made a full recovery but is still 1% off.

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