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New Delhi: There is mixed news for white-collar professionals looking for a job. As people returned to offices and factories started humming, India Inc. has begun rolling out offers, but there is still some distance to go before the jobs market bounces back to pre-covid levels, data crunched by professional networking company LinkedIn underlined.

Fact is, today there is more supply of labour than openings. LinkedIn stated that competition for jobs has doubled compared to six months ago, with the average number of applications per job posted on LinkedIn increasing from around 90 in January to 180 in June. This data captures the desperation in the employment market, battered ever since the lockdown was announced in March-end. Many companies retrenched employees and cut salaries to maintain cost structures. Industries hard hit have also sent employees on leave without pay.

“As risks of second-wave of infections emerge, some states have begun lockdown again. Given all this uncertainty, we expect recovery to remain fairly flat in the coming weeks," Pei Ying Chua, APAC lead economist at LinkedIn’s Economic Graph Team, said. Insights from the graph provide real-time information on trends in the labour market.

LinkedIn currently has over 69 million users in India and over 50 million companies using its site globally, making it a reasonable barometer for white collar hiring activity.

Now for the good news: between early-April and end-June, hiring on LinkedIn increased by 35 percentage points. The rise is encouraging considering the ferocity of the fall — the hiring rate, a measure of hires divided by LinkedIn membership — slumped to a low of below -50% year-on-year in April. While things have recovered since, the hiring rate is still around -15% year-on-year as of June-end.

Meanwhile, CMIE’s unemployment data, which cuts across different collars, also reflected an upward trend. India’s unemployment rate, at nearly 24% in April, has moderated to below 8% in July.

LinkedIn analysed how job seekers were looking to switch industries. Little surprise, those working in the more impacted industries wanted to pivot to greener pastures. “Compared to pre-covid, we see that job seekers currently in the badly-affected sectors such as recreation and travel, are 6.8 times more likely to look for jobs in a different sector," LinkedIn stated. Those in retail were 2.4 times more likely to adjust their job search while professionals in entertainment and consumer goods were 1.3 times more likely to apply to a different industry.

LinkedIn’s data reflected that the top five jobs in-demand today were that of software engineers, business development managers, sales managers, business analysts, and content writers.

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