The impact of Covid-19 on job seekers

Covid-19 has made job seeking harder as there haven't been plans to support those looking for work. Picture: iStock.
Covid-19 has made job seeking harder as there haven't been plans to support those looking for work. Picture: iStock.

The South African government has declared a national state of disaster due to the heightened threat that the Covid-19 virus has become globally.

For job seekers and gig workers, the odds are stacked against them.

The Covid-19 virus has thrown a spanner in the works across the globe, putting markets, industries and countries in a state of panic and utter confusion.

Many don’t know what the short and long-term effects of a pandemic that requires social distancing and quarantining means for day-to-day functions such as going to work and engaging with people.

For job seekers:

Many industries are experiencing mass job cuts, with no prospects of increasing their contribution to the economy or the labour market. This is due in particular to the technical recession that the country is currently under.

With 28 000 reported job cuts in the third quarter of 2019, the employment figures for 2020 are just as bleak.

Just three months into the year, companies plan 10 000 job cuts as economy falters.

Added to the strain the economy is experiencing, the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 has made job seeking credibly difficult with no contingencies in place to assist those that are actively seeking employment.

For gig workers:

The effects of Covid-19 on the gig economy has been a massive obstacle.

Temporal, contract, part-time and freelance workers are hardest hit by the restrictions that the outbreak has placed on the country.

Many will have to find means to survive beyond what little they have and this will cause more strain on an economy that needs innovative ways to be sustained.

It is crucial for job seekers to understand that things are looking grim not just for South Africa but on a global scale

The ripple effects of the Covid-19 on the job market is disheartening.

People should take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are safe and healthy, however, job seeking shouldn’t stop, particularly for those with access to the internet.

Utilising online tools to learn new skills while you’re exercising social distancing as advised is also incredibly important.

It is crucial for job seekers to understand that things are looking grim not just for South Africa but on a global scale.

Freeman added: For Lulaway, it’s important for us to help the youth with training, mentorships, internships and job opportunities but it is also important for us to take this moment to encourage job seekers to be innovative while they are at home.

With Covid-19 intensifying the uncertainties that plague our country, it is also essential for society as a whole to note the nature of this unprecedented pandemic and make means to prioritise their health and the health of those around them first before anything else.

Errol Freeman is marketing manager for Lulaway, a youth employment engine


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