By Nirmalya Sen

Naukri.com, the jobs portal of Noida-Uttar Pradesh-based Info Edge (India) Ltd, recently released its report “JobSpeak” — an index that showcases the current job scenario in India, which indicates a slowdown in hiring by 21.9 percent, a sharper decline as compared with a usual seasonal decline of 10 percent.

According to the report, the overall job index fell from 1,000 in July to 781 in October. Historically, the seasonal decline in October is about 10 percent, but this year the decline is sharper at 21.9 percent.

Global economic slowdown mostly affects the metros. The index indicates decline in new jobs by 15 percent, which is beyond the seasonal decline of 10 percent. The Indian banking industry shows a slowdown in October.

Legal and government jobs clocked an increase and gained in attractiveness over August, September and October 2008.

Historically, there is a seasonal decline in October, which is around 10 percent as recruitment slows down because of the festival season but this year, the slowdown in hiring has been sharper. The index suggests that companies are scaling back their recruitment plans because of the global financial crisis and the current economic conditions.

Hitesh Oberoi, chief operating officer and director, Info Edge (India) Ltd, said, “JobSpeak is a unique initiative to provide our stakeholders and all interested parties an insight into new job creation across locations and sectors in India. In the current economic situation, the index will be a useful guide to asses the job market, existing opportunities and the upcoming sectors. We will keep this initiative up by releasing monthly reports on trends.”

JobSpeak indicates that over the past three months, real estate, banking, finance, information technology (IT) and retail showed a decline, while telecom, pharmaceuticals and hospitality emerged as attractive options for jobs. Some niche sectors such as the government, defence and legal services have gained in attractiveness in recent months.

The index has been calculated based on new jobs added to the site month on month. July 2008 has been taken on a base of 1,000 and the August, September and October index is compared with the July data.

The metros saw a dip in the supply of new jobs. In addition to the impact of the slowdown, Diwali and Dussehra are popular festivals across India, which impact hiring to a considerable extent, the report said.

The metros, which account for a majority of jobs created, witnessed a decline in new jobs to the tune of 25 percent in comparison to the usual 10 percent in earlier festival seasons. In the Delhi – national capital region (NCR), new jobs fell sharply after maintaining stability in August and September. The jobs index for Delhi fell from 1,000 to 786. Mumbai witnessed a higher setback in the month of October as compared with September and August — the jobs index fell from 1,000 to 715 in October 2008 as compared with July 2008. Bangalore, the IT hotspot, has lost new jobs since July, and especially in August, which saw a decline of nearly 20 percent as compared with September. Chennai clocked a marginal increase in new jobs creation during September, but October saw a fall to the tune of 10 percent. Hyderabad and Pune bore the brunt of the slowdown especially in the IT sector and witnessed a decline of more than 15 percent in new jobs during October. Jobs in Kolkata were severely affected with October alone witnessing a decline in new jobs by more than 32 percent.  Chandigarh, affected to an extent by the IT industry slowdown, saw a slowdown in hiring to the tune of 35 percent since July.

IT, both in the software and hardware sector, saw a dip in new jobs by almost 25 percent since July last year.  Banking and financial services jobs recorded a decline of more than 32 percent in October, while construction and engineering posted a decline in new jobs by almost 22 percent since July 2008. The telecom industry, which was looking up in August and September, had seen an increase in jobs, while October witnessed a dip of 17 percent indexed to July. The fluctuation could be owing to the festival season, the report said.

Interestingly, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has witnessed a slight bounce back by 10 percent in October after witnessing a decline in new jobs in August and September. The pharmaceutical industry was comparatively less affected with a fall in the index of less than 15 percent.

Across most functional areas and departments, the decline in new jobs creation has been to the tune of 15 percent to 20 percent. The slowdown has trickled down to most functional areas in October with sales, business development, project management, banking, insurance, marketing and human resources (HR) professionals seeing a decline in online availability of new jobs. September had been a more positive month with sales, HR, marketing seeing a marginal increase in availability of new jobs. In October, new job creation for project managers and sales and business development executives fell by a huge margin, indicating the low business sentiment in the market.

The data has been sourced from Naukri.com and is reflective of the new job listings added on the site month on month. Jobs have been categorized by location, functional area and industry. The index has been calculated across cities/functional area – department and industry verticals.

On basis of new job listings added to the site every month, the data shows an increase or decline in jobs. To calculate the index, jobs in July have been taken on a base of 1,000. The August, September and October data has been indexed against July.