The number of job postings on online job portals in Bangladesh dropped by 87 per cent in April this year, compared to same month of previous year, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed this information in its report, titled ‘COVID-19 Impact on Job Postings: Real-Time Assessment Using Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Online Job Portals’.
The ADB prepared the report using data from leading online job portals of both countries.
According to the report, published on Friday, the number of job postings dropped sharply from the third week of March, one week after confirmation of the first cases of COVID-19 and announcement of nationwide lockdown.
The report says, the number of new job postings was approximately the same in January 2020 comparing the number of previous month, December 2019, in Bangladesh.
Compared to December 2019, the number of online job postings was approximately the same in January 2020, and 10 per cent –17 per cent fewer during February and the first and second weeks of March
Meanwhile, monthly job postings were only 1.0 per cent fewer in February, 35 per cent fewer in March and and 87 per cent fewer in April, compared to the same months in the previous year in the country.
A sharp decrease in job postings has occurred across all industries of Bangladesh with variations.
For example, compared to April 2019, the number of job postings in April this year was down by 95 per cent in textile and education industries and by 92 per cent in the manufacturing industry.
The sharp decline in the textile industry may be related to the pandemic affecting key export markets such as Europe and the United States.
The manufacturing industry is also affected by disruptions in intermediate imports. While significantly affected, the reduction in health sector job postings was 82 per cent, and 81 per cent in ICT.
The nongovernment organisation job postings declined by 64 per cent, but this was much better than other industries, possibly due to the need for development assistance in the current emergency.
These results clearly show that businesses stopped hiring workers because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Job applications declined in tandem with the decreased job postings.
Compared to December 2019, the number of job applications stayed around the same level until the second week of March 2020, but plunged to 72 per cent in the third week, 34 per cent in the fourth week, and to only 16 per cent in the fourth week of April.
Compared to the same months in 2019, job applications were 63 per cent in March 2020 and 19 per cent in April.
According to ADB report, online job postings in Sri Lanka declined by 70 per cent in April compared to the same month in the previous year.
This reduction is relatively smaller than that of Bangladesh, but the trend is similar to the Bangladesh data.
In the middle of March 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to rise, and containment measures started to be adopted in Sri Lanka.
Corresponding to these events, new job postings plunged in the middle of March 2020. Compared to December 2019, the number of new job postings was 3.0 per cent higher in the second week of March, but 51 per cent lower in the following week, and 70 per cent lower in April.
Compared to the same months in the previous year, job postings in 2020 were 10 per cent more in February, but 27 per cent fewer in March, and 70 per cent fewer in April.