The number of new job postings fall by 35 percent in March, the Asian Development Bank, or ADB, said in its policy brief “Covid-19 Impact on Job Postings: Real-Time Assessment Using Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Online Job Portals” on Friday.
The Bangladesh data come from Bdjobs, and the Sri Lanka data come from Topjobs, which are one of the leading online job portals in both countries in terms of number of job postings, the ADB said in the brief.
In Sri Lanka, online job postings dropped by 70 percent in April compared to the same month in the previous year. The brief showed 27 percent drop in March.
Seeking jobs on online portals is a popular trend among the younger generations of Bangladesh. More than 60,000 jobs were posted on Bdjobs in 2019 and the portal with 1 million pageviwers is visited by 200,000 people every day, the ADB said.
The number of job postings dropped sharply from the third week of March, a week after the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Bangladesh, according to the brief.
Relative to December 2019, the number of new job postings was approximately the same in January 2020, and 10 percent to 17 percent fewer during February and the first and second weeks of March.
A sharp decrease in job postings has occurred across all industries with variations. For example, compared to April 2019, the number of job postings in April 2020 was down by 95 percent in textile and education industries, and by 92 percent in the manufacturing industry.
The steep decline in the textile industry may be related to the pandemic affecting key export markets such as Europe and the United States. The manufacturing industry is also affected by disruptions in intermediate imports, the ADB explained.
The reduction in health sector job postings was 82 percent, ehile it was 81 percent in ICT. The NGO job postings declined by 64 percent, but this was much better than other industries, “possibly due to the need for development assistance in the current emergency”.
These results clearly show that businesses stopped hiring workers because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Job applications declined in tandem with the decreased job postings. Compared to the same months in 2019, job applications were 63 percent in March 2020 and 19 percent in April, the Manila-based bank added.