Earlier this week Gumtree shared some interesting data as it pertains to the buying and selling of smartphones locally. Now the online marketplace is looking at another interesting topic – jobs.

More specifically the types of jobs that are being advertised during lockdown, and which of which there appears to be a higher demand for on the platform.

Citing a recent report from Trading Economics that looked at unemployment in South Africa, which has surpassed the 30 percent mark. Naturally this has led to an overly negative outlook when it comes to the prospect of finding a job in the COVID-19 era.

The situation could become even worse, according to economist Mike Schussler, with 50 percent of South Africa’s workforce being unemployed if things do not change.

“The last time we had this decline in the world economy (in 2008), South Africa lost 1.3m jobs in 18 months. I believe we will lose more now; we already believe that this recession will have a much greater negative effect on our economy compared to the previous one,” Schussler explains.

While that paints a rather grim picture, Gumtree has seemingly taken a more optimistic outlook.

“The Corona-coaster, as we have dubbed it, is a constant ride of highs and lows, but our internal data indicates some encouraging markers on the job vacancy front,” Claire Cobbledick, general manager at Gumtree SA.

To that end, 2019 saw an estimated 100 000 employment opportunities being posted on the site. She adds that currently 10 000 live jobs are being actively advertised, which does offer a glimmer of hope for those struggling to find employment.

Looking deeper into the numbers, the top 10 job specifications currently being advertised on Gumtree are:

  • 1 477 in sales
  • 961 in construction and trade
  • 614 in driving and logistics
  • 526 in accounting and finance
  • 514 in manufacturing
  • 505 in general work
  • 468 in healthcare and nursing
  • 445 in IT and tech
  • 413 in advertising and marketing 
  • 381 in admin.

While it is unclear for how long these opportunities are typically for, or indeed the earning potential on offer, there is clearly a demand workers in sectors related to the lockdown.

Driving and logistics for one is an area which has come into sharper focus as a result of COVID-19, with far more expected from couriers and delivery people in the country over the past few months.

Still if we are indeed to recover from this pandemic economically, Gumtree holds a similar position to many experts that the SME sector will prove most vital.

“The best way to stimulate the economy is by supporting SMEs,” says Barrie Swart, head of operations at Gumtree.

“Gumtree offers a great way for companies that have vacancies to connect with people who are looking for new employment opportunities. We believe our technology supports our communities by streamlining the recruitment and job seeking processes, and helps small businesses to keep going – and even growing – during this unusual business period,” he concludes.

With unemployment an issue prior to lockdown, exacerbated during it, and likely lingering long after, it will be interesting to see if platforms like Gumtree can help in decreasing that aforementioned 30 percent rate.

[Image – Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash]