India’s blue- and grey-collar job markets recorded their strongest growth in February in over a year, as a falling number of Covid infections, lifting of restrictions and a pickup in economic activity led to higher demand for manpower.
Data from QJobs, an online employment platform that is a part of staffing services company Quess Corp, show the month of February clocked more than 1 million active blue-collar job openings. These included 800,000 new jobs, the highest number of fresh vacancies posted in a month in more than a year, show the data as reported in ET.
This assumes significance at a time when organisations are opening up their offices, educational institutions are getting ready to welcome students back, and services activities are picking up amid waning of the third wave of the pandemic.
“The outlook for blue/grey collar jobs is quite robust with growth in new customers posting jobs and existing customers increasing the job postings,” said Sekhar Garisa, chief of emerging business and corporate development at Quess Corp. “Across the board, almost every organisation is going for expansion. Companies that had deferred their expansion plan have revived them. Offices are opening up and across sectors services are restarting. This coupled with rising attrition is leading to a surge in demand,” he added. “A rush of investments in startups and technology-led businesses also are contributing to new jobs significantly,” he added.
The top categories which are seeing the highest demand are delivery and driver, data entry/back office, BPO/customer care, field sales, business development and retail/counter sales.
Data show the emerging categories where demand is picking up are security guard and admin, which have seen 350% growth in January-February compared with the previous three months and housekeeping and HR which have seen 250% growth.
“Opening up of services activity amid declining number of infections, quick removal of restrictions, and relatively strong corporate balance sheet and bank balance sheet will continue to strengthen companies’ ability to hire,” said Sachchidanand Shukla, chief economist at the Mahindra Group. The rising attrition is also an indicator of increasing employment opportunities, he added. Job market experts said the focus on capital investment and incentivising job creation in the recent Union budget would further accelerate jobs in the blue-collar segment.
Thrust toward manufacturing through various production-linked incentive schemes and focus on infrastructure development will also lead to the creation of more jobs, said Shukla.
Sodexo, a food and facility management and technical service provider, has added more companies this year and existing clients have increased scope of work amid opening up of offices and educational institutions. “We have new mandates plus expansion of services with clients across sectors which has led to an increase in employee hiring,” said Pradeep Chavda, director, HR, India at Sodexo.