New Delhi (Sputnik): The growth prospects for the Indian economy have been severely damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, with most estimates projecting a negative outlook for 2020-21. With second wave of layoffs and pay cuts, the future looks bleak for industries like hospitality, fitness, and aviation.
The Indian government has told a parliamentary committee on commerce, about “Attracting investment in the post-COVID economy, challenges and opportunities for India” that the pandemic has put more than 100 million jobs at risk.
The worst-hit sectors are hospitality and aviation. State-owned Air India has begun reducing salaries for pilots and furloughed around 600 employees, while cash-positive IndiGo has announced lay-offs of 10 percent of its workforce. Apart from these job losses, 12 million Indians enter the workforce every year, with minute chances of gaining employment.
However, with the economy now slowly opening up, a survey titled LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index has stated that professionals are becoming optimistic about hiring prospects in industries such as e-commerce, IT services, insurance, and gaming.
With the changed socio-economic realities due to the pandemic, businesses and companies are finding ways to stay afloat. They transferred hundreds of workers from on-site to working remotely. As per the experts, this shift has resulted in new job trends post-lockdown.
A US-based employment-related search engine for job listings Indeed India has revealed that they witnessed a 30 percent increase in cybersecurity-related jobs in May, reportedly due to work from home set-ups which makes company work more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Amidst such a scenario, Shashi Kumar, the Managing Director at Indeed India, told Sputnik that hiring for data security has been witnessed across all the digital platforms like education IT services and banking.
Relevance of New Roles
Like other sectors, marketing and advertising, which largely remain about field work, faced similar challenges of staying afloat with the outbreak of the pandemic. But with consumers staying indoors and goods and services being available online, there has been a paradigm shift in marketing strategy for businesses, both big and small.
The benefits of the same are reflected in the spike in use of social media during the first phase of India’s nationwide lockdown, as per a survey by Statista.
With this, Kumar shares that hiring for digital roles has emerged as large numbers of offline operations are now moving online due to the pandemic, hence the demand for digital marketing and social media personnel picking up.
Revival of Existing Sectors
Almost four months after the lockdown and two months into the unlocking, experts are observing new job trends coming to the fore. Employers are on the lookout for manpower in the health, safety, and sanitisation sectors.
Confirming the trend, recruitment agency OLX People spokesperson Tarun Sinha told Sputnik, “A new segment around health and safety has opened up, which is fuelling demand for verification, sanitisation, and security personnel. Some of the new trending functional areas, as pandemic fallout, are data entry operator, nursing attendant/wardboy, MIS executive, database administrator, and insurance agent”.
As the economy opens up post-lockdown, Kumar says that hiring is improving somewhat.
Kumar also said that hard-hit tourism, food and beverage and hospitality sectors, in which job demand has declined by at least 80 percent compared with last year, are expected to witness a sharp rebound once the pandemic is over.
A survey by OLX People has predicted that the IT and e-commerce sectors, which have been working at less than full strength due to the restrictions and lack of business, will completely resume operations to their pre-COVID levels.