Sectors expected to drive the Q4 job market include public administration followed by transportation & utilities as well as finance, insurance, and real estate. The mining & construction sector indicates neutral growth in this quarter. These findings have been delivered in the Employment Outlook Survey by ManpowerGroup India.

Overall, employment trends in Q4 2020 are expected to be steady with a Net Employment Outlook of +3%, as the survey of 813 employers across India indicates stable hiring plans for the upcoming three months as compared to Q3 2020. The strongest hiring pace is recorded for small-sized organisations, followed by medium-sized and large-sized organizations. From a regional perspective, North and East regions indicate a more positive outlook compared to the West and South.

ManpowerGroup further extended its survey to include the impact of COVID, showing that over two in five (44%) of employers reported that they may return to pre-COVID hiring within the next nine months whereas a similar 42% are unsure about returning back to normalcy from the hiring perspective.

When asked about existing members of the workforce that have been placed on a job retention or furlough scheme, less than half (42%) of companies suggest they plan to bring them back with reduced hours, however, a small portion (3%) indicate these staff will be let go.

Sandeep Gulati, Group Managing Director, ManpowerGroup India said, "Post the right-sizing exercise aligning themselves to the current market demands, organisations are now looking at improving productivity, new forms of employee engagement, getting furloughed employees back and implementation of technology that are influencing the employment trends this quarter."

The survey also highlights some of the long-lasting transformative effects that the pandemic has had on the workforce, to which 40% of employers plan to offer remote work and flexible hours in the post-pandemic workplace, and around 25% plan to offer a hybrid model to employees.

However only 2% of employers expect to offer more opportunities for their employees to learn and develop new skills alongside more health and wellbeing benefits (6%) as the demands of workers shift with many hoping to leverage a hybrid-working model.

Sectoral trends

Workforce gains are anticipated in six industry sectors out of seven during the upcoming quarter. Public Administration employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +9%. Payroll gains are also forecast in two sectors with Outlooks of +7% in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and Transportation & Utilities sector.

The Mining and Construction sector indicates status quo while the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and Services Sector indicate gains of +2% each and the Manufacturing Sector at +1%. When compared to the previous quarter, the Transport and Utilities sector has grown by +1% and Public Administration sector has shown improvement by +4% which is, indeed, noteworthy. Other than these, all other sectors have shown an overall decline in the hiring trends for Q4, 2020.

India’s regional trends

A regional comparison of the trends shows employers in all four regions expect to increase payrolls during the next three months. The strongest labour market is expected in the East, where the Net Employment Outlook is +5%. Elsewhere, limited job gains are anticipated in the North, with an Outlook of +4%, and in both the South and the West, with Outlooks of +3%.

Hiring prospects improve by two percentage points in the East when compared with the previous quarter, while remaining relatively stable in the North and the South. In the West, the Outlook is unchanged.

Image / ManpowerGroup India

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