MUMBAI: Opportunities for job seekers in the country are expected to be less bright in the April-June quarter than they were a year ago as Indian companies grapple with increasing technology automation, global business uncertainties, and a scarcity of talent for niche skills.
Only 19% of the 4,389 Indian employers participating in the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q2 2017 said they planned to increase staffing. About 1% planned to decrease and 68% expected no change, resulting in a net employment outlook of +18%.
By contrast, the gauge in the January March 2017 quarter was +21%, while the corresponding figure for April-June 2016 was +38%. After the latest survey, India’s net employment outlook has now trended lower for five consecutive quarters, according to the Manpower survey. Globally, however, employers in only three other countries — Taiwan, Japan and Slovenia — of the 43 surveyed report more optimistic second-quarter hiring plans than those in India.
“The hiring outlook will move at a slow, but steady pace,” said AG Rao, group managing director of ManpowerGroup India. “Despite the market volatilities, India’s macroeconomic fundamentals have improved due to a combination of various initiatives focused on job creation and skill development, with a continuing emphasis on ease of doing business.”
Workforce gains are anticipated in all seven industry sectors during the coming quarter. The strongest hiring prospects are reported in the services sector, where employers report a net employment outlook of +22%, followed by the public administration and education sector and the wholesale and retail trade sector at +21%.
Manufacturers expect steady payroll gains, reporting an outlook of +16%, while growth of +15% is likely for the finance, insurance & real estate sector and mining & construction. Meanwhile, transportation and utilities employers report the most cautious outlook of +10%.
Hiring intentions weaken in six of the seven industry sectors when compared with Q1 2017, with the transportation and utilities sector showing the steepest decline of 9 percentage points. The outlooks are 7 and 6 percentage points weaker in the mining and construction sector and the manufacturing sector, respectively.
However, employers in the wholesale and retail trade sector report no quarter-over-quarter change. “In the current situation, companies do realise the need to embrace digital transformation and it is important for Indian employers to redefine their workforce strategies and adopt innovative ways to leverage the strength of people and stay competitive,” Rao said.
When compared with this time one year ago, outlooks decline in all seven industry sectors, the most notable ones being declines of 27 and 24 percentage points in the manufacturing sector and the mining and construction sector, respectively, while the outlook for the transportation and utilities sector is 21percentage points weaker. Employers in all four regions anticipate an increase in staffing levels during Q2 2017, with the strongest labour market forecast for the South, where the Net Employment Outlook is +29%. The North and the West regions have outlooks of +18% and +15%, respectively, while the Outlook for the East stands at +12%.
When compared with the previous quarter, Outlooks decline by 5 percentage points in both the North and the East, while employers in the West report a decrease of 4 percentage points. Outlooks weaken in all four regions when compared with the second quarter of 2016. Steep declines of 26 and 25 percentage points are reported in the East and the West, respectively. Employers in the North report a decrease of 16 percentage points, while the Outlook for the South is 12 percentage points weaker.