IBPS hiring plan for 55,000 officers and clerical staff in year 2014.

2014 likely to shower jobs as economy improves

The employment scenario in the country is likely to witness a surge in 2014 with the banking segment expected to hire aggressively and a rebound in economic growth raising prospects for jobs across sectors. A deep economic slowdown and delay in implementation of projects have hurt jobs in several sectors, particularly in manufacturing. The slowdown in developed economies also hit jobs in the export and other allied sectors.

The banking sector has drawn up ambitious hiring plans for officers as well as administrative staff. State-run banks are expected to recruit about 55,000 officers and clerical staff in 2014. "On an average, in the next three years, the banking sector will recruit about 50,000 employees," said Anup Sankar Bhattacharya, director at the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection.

The extent of demand for banking jobs is evident from the fact that nearly 10 lakh candidates appeared in the written exams for 19,000 vacancies for officers in state-run banks. Out of 10 lakh, only 57,000 will be called for interviews.

Other sectors which are likely to benefit from the economic recovery, in terms of jobs, are retail, hospitality, logistics, engineering, consumer goods, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical diagonistics. 

Infrastructure, Engineering & Exports
Infosys, the country's second biggest software services exporter, has plans to hire 15,000 to 16,000 engineers next year. An improvement in demand for outsourcing in the US and other countries is expected to raise job prospects for engineers, programmers and others.

"Though 2013 marked a year of disappointment on hiring front, 2014 seems promising. The upcoming national elections coupled with the improvement in the global economic conditions are expected to pull the market out of the guessing phase and bring cheer," said Ashok Reddy, managing director of TeamLease Services, a recruitment consultancy firm.

"In fact, as the year progresses companies are expected to come out and invest again, automatically leading to talent search," he said, adding that sectors such as consumer goods, durables, telecom, retail and hospitality are expected to drive growth.

The infrastructure sector is also likely to benefit as projects get off the ground. Several stalled projects are expected to kick off, stoking demand for skilled and unskilled workers. Demand for jobs will come from the planned industrial corridors, which will link key cities.

"As the core sector improves, floodgates should open. There has been considerable amount of investment in big ticket projects," said K Sudershan, managing partner at EMA Partners International, a global executive search firm.

"There is a fair degree of optimism," he said, adding that the job scene may gather pace after the national elections in 2014. Sudershan said sectors such as metals, power, real estate could witness demand for jobs as clarity emerges on the policy front and sentiment improves. He further said a "significant amount of retirements" in the next two to three years in the manufacturing sector could drive demand for engineers.

Gautam Nair, managing director at Matrix Clothing, said improvement in the US economy and Europe augured well for employees in the labour-intensive textile sector. "But, ironically in a country like India, we are facing shortage of labour," Nair said, adding that the gap was wide for both quantity and quality of labour. 

Unemployable Graduates
While the jobs scenario is expected to improve, for employers it will be a challenge to find employees who possess the right skills. "There is ample opportunity for people with the right DNA. But, the fact is that most of the graduates are not really employable. Employers have become far more quality conscious," said Ronesh Puri, managing director of Executive Access, a search firm.

"Unfortunately universities are churning out sub-optimal talent. They have not been able to reorient to market needs. There has to be major shift in the way universities and institutions are imparting education," Puri said, adding that 2014 would be a far better year for jobs compared to the past two years. While the government has mounted an effort to upgrade skills, experts say it has to be on a war footing as millions of young men and women enter the job market. And, the options should be outside the farm sector, which still employs a large chunk of the population. 

"..India has to focus on an agenda to create jobs outside of agriculture, which will help us reap the demographic dividend and also improve livelihoods in agriculture," the Economic Survey of the government said earlier in the year. 

Measuring Employment
Another area which requires close attention is the way employment is measured in the country. In developed economies, employers are required to provide data and the other source of information is from the unemployment doles that people opt for when they lose jobs. More than 85-90% jobs are in the formal sector, while in India only 8% employment is in the organized sector.

"Nearly 92% of the workforce is self employed or in the informal sector. In India, we have to depend on household surveys, which is expensive," said Pronob Sen, chairman, National Statistical Commission. The surveys are conducted every five years and the results are released within nine months.

According to the usual principal status method, the unemployment rate is 2.8%, which experts say is low. Added to this is the problem of massive underemployment. The usual principal method refers to whether one has been employed in half of the last one year. "We are trying to improve the quality of information of some of the indicators," Sen said, pointing to the planned changes to ensure a far more comprehensive assessment of the jobs scenario. 

Source:- Times of India
Date:- 28-Dec-2013



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