A look at Post COVID-19 Job Market

Touseef Hasan

Mission Save Bangladesh organized a live, hour-long session on ‘Job Market: Post COVID-19’ on 5th May 2020. The honorable speakers were:

  1. A.K.M Fahim Mashroor, Co-founder and CEO, Bdjobs.com
  2. Syed Tanvir Husain, Chief HR Officer, Grameenphone
  3. M. Zulfiqar Hussain, CEO, and Lead Consultant, Grow n Excel

At the beginning of the session, due to the effect of the worldwide pandemic, the endangered sectors of work were brought into the discussion. According to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), 1.6 billion people around the world are assumed to be jobless by the end of the COVID-19 tenure, with most of the jobs in manufacturing, retail and accommodation being lost. Moreover, a change in this number is noticed frequently in the report, leaving everyone in uncertainty. But, speaking from the perspectives of the economy of Bangladesh, corporate job holders haven’t been affected much so far. Rather than the ones having informal jobs such as – service holders, retailers have been under pressure of being jobless and ultimately losing their sources of income. Statistics show that, since mid-March, about 90% of the listed jobs in Bdjobs.com have been brought down after quarantine began in the country. The jobs that remain listed and the employers or NGOs still looking to recruit are mostly hiring for jobs that are dedicated to the current crisis. Job recruitment flow has almost hit null suddenly. Lay-off informal sectors won’t be much because of Labor Law, which protects the job holders in difficult times, providing them with sufficient financial assistance. However, concerns are being regularly raised about informal sectors because there’s no existing, generalized law to tip the scales in their favor once required. Thus, tough times loom large.

Despite all these, the potential of jobs after COVID-19 piles up much positivity. Due to the current situation existing, many countries have already taken up self-reliant agricultural methodologies. If the developing nations are following this and reaping the harvest to maximum fruition, Bangladesh shouldn’t be lagging behind either. Getting rid of the negative mindset towards this particular sector should be our top priority. In that way, the younger generations can undoubtedly be invested in agriculture with the ever essential help of technology and thus, innovation. On the other hand, an IT boom is very much on the cards. Due to the inconveniences posed by the recent pandemic, basically a huge chunk of the nation has been reliant on technology for both communication and work. They’re adapting or more appropriately put, having to adapt to the multifarious uses of recent surges in global technology day by day. As days go by, the demand for a low touch economy will increase. Therefore, the IT sector has the capability to witness something great pretty soon. The health sector cannot be neglected too. As things stand, gigantic investments are set to be made after the mess COVID-19 has caused.

According to various reports from ILO and the World Bank, the unemployment rate of graduates in Bangladesh is about 47%, which is a shocking figure considering thousands of prospective university students graduating each year. The current situation puts them in front of massive obstacles to overcome. As the demand for the essential jobs increases with the surging chaos, the market of non-essential jobs has started to shrink already. So, the non-essential job holders are bound to face reality and switch to the essential ones to regenerate their source of income for good. Positive mindset towards every job has to be a bare minimum because otherwise, the horizons of opportunities just get shrunk. Activities outside academic work should be given the utmost importance. Emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship spirit, tech literacy are qualities that would not only move graduates forward towards their goals but also add tremendous value to the lives around them.

There are two types of business – quick or dead. Therefore, the owners of businesses – small or large, have to come running out of their comfort zones and adapt very fast to whatever is happening worldwide. Because the post-COVID-19 situation will simply have a very, very different outlook.

The entire globe has always been resilient and won back its ground whenever any crisis or pandemic has hit it. Bangladesh hasn’t been any different as well, fighting against seemingly haunting crises from time to time. Here’s to hoping that history will repeat itself. Here’s to hoping for a healthy and convenient job market post COVID-19.

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