labor market: India a country split in two in terms of job growth: CEO of Monster.com

“I think it’s a two-part India and there are people who are on the other side of the employment growth spectrum. There are challenges in terms of formalization, in terms of people displaced,” says Sekhar GarisaCEO, Monster.com

Monster recently released employment data. Does it show a significant recovery compared to 2019?
Absolutely, that’s what the data says. I have said this regularly over the past few quarters. We’ve only seen job creation data picking up positively in recent quarters after the pandemic plunge. In fact, this month, compared to the pre-pandemic level of March 2020, we are about 6.5% higher than where we were then. So in this category of jobs, we are definitely seeing a full recovery to levels well above where they were before the pandemic. However, I understand the dichotomy seen in the CMIE report that says millions of Indians are leaving the labor force after being unable to get the right jobs.

I think it’s a two-part India and there are people on the other side of the employment growth spectrum. There are challenges in terms of formalization, in terms of displaced people, but on the white-collar side, which is the data that we track, we constantly see that in the 27 sectors and the 13 cities that we track, the data has was very, very encouraging.

When we were talking about employment formalization, data from the Employment Provident Fund Organization of India (EPFO) is the gold standard when it comes to tracking formal employment. This shows that in February, 9.34 lakh new employees joined the program. New signings are down nearly 2 lakh from January. So when you say jobs in this category are back to March 2020 levels, what job category are you talking about and how much are they in absolute terms?
We are talking about white collar space, skilled employee category and the data you would be looking at would be a mix of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers as a lot of these jobs are also formalized and therefore registered on EPFO ​​as well good. The category of jobs we track as part of the Monster Jobs Index is the qualified applicant category that has seen absolute growth in numbers to pre-pandemic levels in cities and industries. .

For a few engineering construction categories, we’ve seen declining employment data, hospitality is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, but across the board, be it fintech, computing in general, educational technology – everywhere we saw jobs rebound. In terms of the absolute number of jobs that we look at on our platform, we have around 600,000 jobs right now and if I aggregate the data across the entire online space, we’re talking about more than one million and a half jobs that is explicitly advertised for candidates. This is the scale we are talking about and which is covered in this report.

What about the start-up space? The startup space is projected as large employers and the greatest number of high-skilled white-collar jobs are created. Are these guys creating a significant number of jobs in absolute numbers?
Absolutely. The sector that has seen the biggest increase in terms of job openings is BFSI, which is mainly driven by fintech and has been the hottest sector in terms of attracting investment. We know that behind every investment announcement there will be a huge hiring plan and we have seen an increase of almost 37% in terms of available jobs in the fintech space and that is significant. We have also seen significant numbers increase in the logistics space. We are seeing significant numbers in computing and telecommunications. So the industries where native digital skills are important, where a lot of investment is being attracted, reflects that in terms of hiring patterns.


What about downstream jobs?


Not all start-up jobs need to be high-tech jobs. There’s a lot of investment in logistics companies that have turned unicorns, into ed tech companies, into fintech companies, into e-commerce companies. All these investments not only result in high-end tech jobs but also many operational jobs where many delivery people, drivers, in-house sales executives for each BharatPe are hired. Startups therefore create a lot of jobs downstream as well. We all have to hope that the growth of every sector, including start-ups, is good for the country.

While it’s great that we have a situation where software engineers are in high demand, a lot of your new business models have created the space for gig workers who have the ability to log in and out as they wish. As someone who has been following this space for so long, what can we do to narrow this gap between the two halves of India?
You’re absolutely right. We need to do more in terms of formalizing the other half of the employment space and that’s also happening and that’s also being rapidly accelerated by tech-focused start-ups. We know there are a bunch of start-ups working in formalizing blue-collar or gray-collar and that’s the only way because it will help employers hire people at scale. When employers are able to manage and hire people at scale using technology, they will move towards formalizing some of these categories of employees rather than relying on informal spaces.

So a bunch of these things are happening and in the budget we saw some good announcements on the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) which hopefully will increase the opportunities created in the manufacturing space. There are quite a few drivers working simultaneously. We should give him time. Technology is going to be an accelerator or a force multiplier in one form or another and it is already happening as we see it and we are part of the Quess group as a whole also see the other half of India where we are one of India’s largest employers and we are seeing the space also growing very fast in terms of last mile or entry level workforce.

There are a lot of things running in parallel and I’m very optimistic about the next 12 months where we’ll see this data turn into green space. But at the same time, we need to do a little more to understand and accept the change happening around us. Several organizations are now basically on board with working in some sort of concert model. We should give people more flexibility so that they are not expected to travel thousands of miles to find a job that pays 20,000 to 25,000 rupees.

There are a lot of these things that we structurally need to provide good quality jobs for people where they are; using technology to help them discover the best possible jobs so that they feel like a career path is available to them and therefore invest in the early stages of their careers. Government incentives are in progress, capital investments are in progress, production-related incentives will come into effect. Overall, we’re doing a lot of good things. I expect this space through both halves to turn green very soon.

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