The total number of active white-collar roles fell in July for the third month in a row, compared to 300,000 in June and 330,000 in May, data from LinkedIn and job boards at top companies, compiled by specialist staffing firm Xpheno.
The total number of open white-collar workers receiving applications in July fell 7% year-over-year, matching the lowest number since June 2021, when residents were effectively locked out of their homes.
Executives and economists agree that companies will be cautious in their hiring plans over the next two quarters as attention shifts to the global economic picture and leading domestic indicators such as consumer inflation, liquidity management and the broader interest rate trajectory.
“The decline in hiring in July is a reflection of the larger business climate and emerging market sentiment as businesses prepare for the upcoming tight curve,” said Anil Ethanur, co-founder of Xpheno. . “India’s position is relatively good compared to other countries, but the 7% growth forecast does not require large hiring in the white-collar segment, which is largely driven by long-term and future growth prospects,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist.
Recruitment cannot be accelerated unless macroeconomic factors improve.
“Some sectors like infrastructure – metals, chemicals and cement – will do relatively well in terms of job creation,” Sabnavis said. “Consumer-oriented businesses will be slower and more cautious in hiring amid rising inflation and weak consumer sentiment.”
As private sector capital spending shows signs of recovery, hiring has accelerated in distressed asset sectors. Vimal Kejriwal, MD & CEO,
, part of RPG Group said, “The infrastructure sector is doing well. We are hiring more white-collar positions this year than a year ago. Our new hires are 25-30% more than last year.
To be sure, macroeconomic headwinds persist as the world’s largest economy, the United States, entered into a technical recession in the second quarter of this year. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday also cut India’s growth forecast for FY23 to 7.4% from a previous forecast of 8.2%, attributing the downward revision to the economy’s sensitivity to less favorable external conditions and faster policy tightening. In April, the IMF cut its growth forecast below 9%, citing higher commodity prices.
The data showed that the IT services sector recorded the sharpest month-on-month decline of 16% in job openings as business leaders braced for an unstable macroeconomic environment over the next few quarters. The IT workforce of the services, products and internet-providing sectors added 172,000 jobs in July, up from 200,000 in June.
The IT cohort’s contribution to total active openings fell to 64% (typically over 80%), the lowest contribution the sector has recorded in the last 30 months. In contrast, non-tech sectors such as hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, automotive, oil and energy and telecommunications registered marginal growth in hiring and contributed 28% to the total number of jobs compared to 25% a month ago.
“Given global macroeconomic uncertainty and the risk of a U.S. recession, tech leaders are currently cautious about hiring new talent and moving a bench on the scale we’ve seen over the past two years,” said tech leader Nitin Bhatt. EY. “Given current margin pressures, this has become a critical imperative.”
MONITORING OF MACRO FACTORS
Companies closely monitor macroeconomic processes.
“Macro factors are impacting the labor market and will continue to do so over the next few quarters,” Yashwant Mahadik, Lupine’s global HR president, told ET. “Although domestic factors are currently good for the pharmaceutical sector and companies are hiring in new business areas such as digital transformation, traditional jobs will be flat.”