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Amid the second COVID wave, hiring activity declines by 15% in Apr 2021 Vs Mar 2021; Naukri JobSpeak

National, 05 May 2021: India is experiencing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and many state governments are being forced to impose lockdown-like restrictions. Owing to this, the Naukri JobSpeak Index for Apr’21, at 2,072, witnessed a sequential dip of 15% in hiring activity as compared to Mar’21 at 2,436. However, the current impact on the job market is less severe than what we saw in Apr’20 given the lack of a strict nationwide lockdown.

Naukri JobSpeak Index (M-O-M)

Naukri JobSpeak Index (M-O-M)

The increased requirement for healthcare and life insurance has had a less impact on hiring in sectors such as Insurance (-5%), Pharma/Biotech (-9%), and Medical/Healthcare (-10%) in Apr’21 over Mar’21. The IT-Software (-12%) sector, which remained shielded and drove robust hiring over the past few months, declined less than the national average sequentially. Other sectors such as FMCG (-15%) and Telecom (-15%) declined in line with the overall hiring trend in Apr’21 vs Mar’21.

The Retail sector, which grew in Mar’21, experienced a sharp decline of 33% in Apr’21 due to restricted operating hours or closure owing to lockdowns in many parts of the country. Sectors such as Hospitality and Travel (-36%), Banking/Finance (-26%) and Teaching/Education (-24%) remained highly impacted in hiring activity in Apr’21 Vs Mar’21.

The jobs market across metro and non-metro cities saw a downfall, barring Kolkata (+0%) that remained flat. The aggressive surge of cases in Maharashtra directly impacted hiring trends in Mumbai, which saw a sequential decline of 20% in Apr’21. While Delhi/NCR (-18%) also remained impacted sequentially, Bangalore (-10%), Chennai (-10%) and Hyderabad (-4%) were less impacted in Apr’21 Vs Mar’21. Jaipur (-25%) and Chandigarh (-23%) led the decline in hiring in tier-2 cities while Cochin (-5%) remained the least impacted sequentially. Interestingly, Ahmedabad, which was showing robust growth in hiring over the past few months showed a decline of 12% in hiring in Apr’21 Vs Mar’21. 

Referring to the report, Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer, said, “The disruption caused by the second wave of COVID-19 has impacted the hiring activity leading to a 15% sequential decline in Apr’21. However, the current impact on the job market is less severe than what we saw in Apr’20 where the Naukri JobSpeak index declined by 51% M-O-M. This could be attributed to the lack of a strict nationwide lockdown being announced this time and the economy remaining open. The Hospitality, Travel, Retail and Education/Teaching sectors continue to be the first few sectors to be most impacted as was the case during the first wave while the Pharma/Medical/Healthcare sector remains shielded.”

The shutdown of schools, hotels, and non-essential offices led to a sequential decline in demand for professionals in the Teaching/Education (-32%), Hospitality (-32%) and Marketing/Advertising (-26%) domains in Apr’21. Hiring activity across experience bands saw an average decline of 13% in Apr’21 Vs Mar’21 with the 0-3 years’ experience band (-19%) being the most hit. Interestingly, the 13+ years’ experience band (-9%) remained the least impacted in sequential hiring as organizations are preferring experienced professionals. 

Y-O-Y Hiring Deep-dive | Apr’21 Vs Apr’20

The hiring activity grew by 2.2X in Apr’21 as compared to Apr’20. Given the strict nationwide lockdown last year in April and the job market being severely impacted, the Y-O-Y comparison shows significant growth in hiring activity. 

Sectors that led this growth include Real Estate (4.2X), Auto/Auto Ancillary (3.2X), and Travel & Hospitality (2.7X). Sectors that remained afloat during the first wave such as Pharm/Biotech (1.6X), IT-Software (2.1X) and Banking/Finance (1.9X) saw proportionate growth in Apr’21 Y-O-Y.

In line with other trends, most major cities witnessed 2.3X growth in hiring in Apr’21 Vs Apr’20. Tier-2 cities such as Kochi (2.8X) and Ahmedabad (2.6X) recorded the highest incline in Y-O-Y hiring. Within metros, Hyderabad (2.7X) and Chennai (2.4X) led the growth, while Mumbai (1.6X) experienced the least growth due to the significant resurgence of the second wave in Apr’21 Vs Apr’20.

Hiring for Ticketing/ Travel roles had taken a major hit in April last year, but with travel permissible in the country now, hiring in the sector showed a steep growth of 6.3X in Apr’21 versus last year, same time. The demand for HR/Administration professionals saw a leap of 3.1X while hiring for roles in Banking/Insurance (2.8X) and Logistics/Supply Chain (2.8X) domains also showed a striking uptick at a Y-O-Y level. Hiring across experience bands saw an average increase of 2X in Apr’21 Vs Apr’20 with the 8-12 years’ experience band showing maximum growth.


The Naukri JobSpeak is a monthly Index that calculates and records hiring activity based on the job listings on website month on month. The objective of Naukri JobSpeak is to measure the hiring activity in various industries, cities, functional areas and experience levels. The data is compiled from the website wherein jobs posted by clients on are considered. Thus, the job speak index includes jobs that might be for replacement hiring. July 2008 is taken as the base with an index value of 1,000 and the subsequent monthly index is compared with the data for July 2008. The jobs analyzed for the monthly Index are qualified based on white-collar, urban, belonging to organized corporate sector jobs with the focus on service industries. The report shows hiring trends across industry sectors, geography, experience level, and functional areas. More than 76,000 clients use, leading to the high reliability of data. The report does not cover gig employment, hyperlocal hiring or campus placement. Over a long period of time, Naukri JobSpeak could be impacted by factors like internet penetration, Naukri market share, Naukri pricing and job listing drives.