The COVID second wave has dented job-seekers’ confidence like never before with Gen Z and women being the worst affected.
‘LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index’ finds working women two times more likely to be worried about finding a job and four times less confident compared to their male counterparts.
The latest LinkedIn survey calls the phenomenon a ‘shecession’ — a play on the words “she” and “recession”.
The individual confidence index (ICI) scores of female professionals fell from +57 in March to +49 in early June — a 4x decline compared to working men (+58 in March to +56 in June), the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index stated.
“Decoding India’s evident ‘shecession’, findings show that India’s working women are ~2x more likely to be worried about the availability of jobs, their professional network, and time devoted to job seeking, than working men today. This uneven impact has also bruised the financial stability of working women as 1 in 4 (23%) female professionals are concerned about growing expenses or debt, in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13%) working men,” the report stated.
The survey found that COVID “bruised the financial stability of working women”. “One in 4 (23 per cent) female professionals is concerned about growing expenses or debt, in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13 per cent) working men,” the survey said.
Ashutosh Gupta, LinkedIn’s India Country Manager, said, “As India slowly begins to come out of the second wave of Covid-19 cases, we see the year-over-year hiring rate recover from a low of 10% in April to 35% at the end of May. Despite this modest revival, confidence levels of working women and young professionals are amongst the lowest in the workforce today.”
Gupta pinned his hopes on remote jobs, which he says “can be a ray of hope, to provide the much-needed flexibility and growth in opportunities” to a workforce that is low in confidence.
Gen Z and millennials are a worried lot
Besides women, Generation Z professionals (people born between mid-to-late 1990s and early 2010s) are susceptible to uncertainties that prevail in today’s job market.
Youngsters were 2.5 times more concerned about their jobs and careers when compared with baby boomers (people born from 1946 to 1964).
The LinkedIn study found that about 30% Gen Z professionals and 26% millennials (born between 1981 and 1994) are worried about lack of jobs. In comparison, only 18 per cent baby boomers are concerned about retaining or finding a new job.
LinkedIn’s Labour Market Update states that fresh graduates are finding it difficult to find jobs. The average time for fresh graduates to find a new job has increased by 43% (from 2 to 2.8 months) in 2020 compared to pre-COVID-19 times in 2019.
Healthy work environment
Employees are giving more importance to a healthy work environment and work-life balance.
About 50% job-seekers value employee benefits and an equal number of them give importance to salary (53 per cent). However, 48% respondents said they think finding work-life balance and location flexibility (50 per cent) are important criteria, says the LinkedIn data.
Demand for location flexibility is encouraging work from home with remote job postings going up 35 times from 2020 to May 2021.
The survey is based on responses given by 1,891 professionals from May 8 to June 4, the peak of second COVID wave.
LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index is a bi-weekly survey. It uses a scale from -100 to +100 to reflect professionals’ current sentiments about the jobs market, their financial status, career progression and their expectations going forward.