Employment opportunities face abrupt setback with the upsurge of COVID-19 since late March after the situation started improving from last September, disappointing millions of unemployed youth in the country.
According to data from a number of top job portals, the private job sector’s hiring has fallen as high as 60 per cent between late last month and first week of the current month.
Senior officials at the portals attributed the dismal job market to surge in the virus and the government’s lockdown measures.
They feared the scenario could be even grimmer than the current dull situation as far as job opportunity is concerned.
According to online job portal bdjobs, job circulars reduced by 50-60 per cent between March and September last year, as daily new job circulars came down to nearly one-third.
Things, however, started improving from October and the healthy trend continued till February, this year.
bdjobs published more than 200 live job circulars under 27 categories on Friday while it was only 118 at 7:16pm on Saturday.
Fahim Mashroor, Chief Executive of bdjobs told The Business Post that they had struggled from March to September-October last year, before the situation turned around gradually from November to February, this year.
“Now we fear the further lockdown due to the second wave and it will dampen the job prospects once again badly,” Fahim said.
“Employers are not interested in hiring in an abnormal situation; despite their need of workers to run their business.”
“We had 150-200 job postings before COVID-19 pandemic, which went down to 70 on average in recent months,” told Azmul Huda, the Acting In-Charge of Jagojobs.
"On Saturday I posted only 10 job circulars till 3:00pm", he added.
Probir Kumar Chanda, managing partner of alljobsbd.com said at least 40 per cent job circulars have reduced in their portal in recent days.
“We had on average 10-15 posts daily in our portal but now it dwindled to less than five.”
In 2017, the BBS conducted a survey which said a total number of labour force was 6.35 crore in the country. Of the total workforce, only 4.2 per cent or 27 lakh people are unemployed. But the government organisation has no data about the current unemployment situation as the government’s data generating agency has not conducted any survey after 2017.
State Minister for Ministry of Public Administration Farhad Hossain told The Business Post that the next Budget for 2021-22 will largely focus on creating employment.
However, Khandaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue said the government had also termed the current budget a job-focused, which turned out to be unrealistic due to the failure in development spending.
“The rate of implementation of Annual Development Budget (ADB) so far does not reflect the previous budget’s goal of creating new jobs,” Moazzem said.
“It will be tough for the government to deliver on the promises made on job creation in the current budget. In such a case, the government needs to come forward with different projects and approach to create employment,” he suggested.
“It will also be tougher for the government to sort out a quick solution to the job crisis,” he said suggesting that the expansion of the area of social safety net programmes can be a temporary solution to the pressing problem.
As far as job opportunity in the public sector is concerned, a total of 3,87,338 positions currently lie vacant against 18,21,284 positions in civil services, according to the Ministry of Public Administration.
The Public Service Commission, which recruits civil servants, also deferred examination schedules many times last year. Finally, the 41st BCS’s preliminary examination took place on March 19 this year after a long hiatus.