Non-IT sectors may dominate white-collar job market this year

India’s white-collar job market may see a cautious stance from companies in the New Year,…

India’s white-collar job market may see a cautious stance from companies in the New Year, as recession fears mount in the advanced economies amid continued geopolitical uncertainties, accelerating inflation and sluggish growth.

The current moderation and caution in jobs in the information technology (IT) sector, which has for years been the dominant recruiter in the white-collar job market, will likely continue in 2023, as long as the global demand remains impacted, said top company executives.

However, the hiring action is likely to remain positive in certain sectors in the non-tech cohort that is benefitting from a revival in domestic consumption post-pandemic as well as favourable government policies, said experts.

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Sectors such as hospitality and tourism, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, renewables, automobile companies with presence in electric vehicles, oil & energy, infrastructure-related sectors, such as steel and engineering, and chemicals are likely to drive the white-collar employment space, said experts.

Companies will also keep a close watch on the Covid situation amid a surge in infections in some countries, said executives.

“Every uncertainty makes people cautious, but it will vary from sector to sector. People will be careful with their investments and any sector that is linked to global demand – such as IT services, outsourcing – will continue to see moderation,” said Santrupt Misra, director, group human resources, Aditya Birla Group.

According to exclusive data from staffing company Xpheno, the non-tech sector has come to the rescue of the white-collar job market over the last eight months, moving from a contribution of 19% in April to 54% in December (out of a total of 272,000 open white-collar positions accepting applications at the end of the month). Currently, the dominant contribution in the non-tech cohort is from BFSI, telecom, healthcare, consulting, energy and infrastructure, show data from top job boards put together by Xpheno.

“While markets await the return of the tech sector to its dominant position, the runway for the same is currently anywhere between three and six months. Amid the global uncertainties of recession and inflation, the growth in the non-tech sector will be a force to reckon with in 2023,” said Xpheno cofounder Anil Ethanur.

Misra of Aditya Birla Group said the manufacturing sector would remain patchy, auto might slow down going forward, while revival of travel might add to more jobs in hospitality & tourism and government spending would lead to employment boost in infrastructure.

Various production-linked incentive schemes rolled out by the government are likely to drive job creation in manufacturing.

Panasonic Life Solutions India chairman Manish Sharma said: “If we take the example of the air-conditioner industry, we have seen an investment commitment of Rs 6,632 crore and employment opportunity for 200,000 people – including white collar and blue collar.”

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