The Most In-Demand Job Skills In South Africa

These are the most in-demand job skills in South Africa right now. Despite South Africa’s depressing unemployment data, with more than 2.2 million jobs lost during lockdown. The latest CareerJunction Index serves to remind job seekers that there is still demand for skilled workers in the country.

The CareerJunction Index represents online labour dynamics by providing a detailed analysis of the relative ratio of supply and demand. In October, the CJI scored slightly higher than September at 94 points, but still placed under the job market balance of 100. An index score below 100 indicates that there are fewer job opportunities and more job seekers. However, the uptick does show that more work is becoming available, and recruiters are actively looking to fill positions.

The most in-demand job skills were business & management, sales, ICT, marketing, cleaning, maintenance & repair and architecture & engineering. The most in-demand job skills echo the same trends seen over the past year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses seeking software development skills, management skills and sales consulting skills.

The IT sector has been showing continuous growth in recruitment activity over the last three months. Software development skills remain the most sought-after IT skills.

In the local employment market Managerial skills are highly demanded . Particularly, finance managers are in high demand.

Hiring activity for sales staff has been growing continuously over the last four months. Demand for sales consulting skills increased by 35% since June 2020.

Supply and work demand

The IT, business & management and finance sectors are undoubtedly the most in-demand job skills, followed by the sales, admin, office & support and architecture & engineering sectors, among others listed.

Looking at active job seekers across various sectors, areas of high supply correlate closely to areas of high work demand. There has been a consistent uptake in hiring activity for professionals in the business & management, sales, IT, marketing, cleaning, maintenance & repair and architecture & engineering sectors. However, a more volatile work demand trend is evident for professionals in admin, office & support, manufacturing & assembly, warehousing & logistics and medical & health.

While most sectors show growth, demand for medical professionals is declining due to a lower rate of Covid-19 infections.

Unemployment crisis

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2020 published last week, shows that of the 2.85 million people who ‘left’ the country’s workforce during lockdown, only 543,000 managed to get their jobs back, leaving 2.2 million unemployed, and 225,000 joining the group of discouraged work seekers.

Unemployment increased substantially by 52.1% to 6.5 million, compared to the second quarter of 2020. Making the country’s overall unemployment rate a record high at 30.8% – with the broader definition (which includes discouraged work seekers) at 43.1%.

Government has moved to temporarily alleviate some of the pressure caused by job losses by launching several initiatives to place 800,000 South Africans in jobs over the short term. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that R100 billion would be allocated for job protection and creation, as part of the emergency relief package.

One of the initiatives set up by government is a digital platform for recruitment and matching of candidates, that has been developed through partnerships enabled by the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. This platform is being used by the Department of Basic Education to recruit 300,000 teachers and school assistants and will provide real-time data on applications and placements, as well as ongoing surveys of participants.

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