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ASSOCHAM paints rosy picture on technology jobs in Bangalore

Deepa Kurup
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This is contrary to the general perception on job growth in the sector

Amid much speculation over job growth in Bangalore’s sunshine sector comes a report from industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) that claims that jobs generated in the city have surged by 12 per cent. Of these, ASSOCHAM says, in a release, a “lion’s share” of 67 per cent are from the IT, IT-enabled Services (ITeS) and hardware sectors.

The release said that over 14,000 new jobs were created in the IT sector in the quarter ended September, against over 10,600 new jobs generated in the sector in the previous quarter. This accounts for a sequential growth of 30 per cent, according to ASSOCHAM.

Bangalore also accounts for 15 per cent of the total number of new jobs generated across cities and sectors in the same period, the release stated. The Delhi–NCR region is ahead of Bangalore at 24 per cent. However, new jobs generated there are down by five per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Sector-wise, the construction and engineering sector was ranked second (generating over 1,400 new jobs) followed by banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), which created over 1,000 jobs, the release stated. ASSOCHAM attributes these numbers to a sector-specific analysis, ‘Job trends across cities and sectors’ conducted by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB). No further details of the survey were shared with the media. On the methodology used to arrive at the findings, ASSOCHAM says the team monitored data posted by over 3,000 companies on various job portals and advertisements in job supplements of national and regional dailies for 56 cities (across 32 sectors).

‘Jobs not up’

ASSOCHAM’s optimism on IT job growth comes as a surprise given that the mood on recruitments in this sector is hardly upbeat. Most IT workers and industry freshers that The Hindu spoke to said that the job scene was either stagnant or on the decline. In fact, several campus offers made by leading IT companies in the previous academic year are still on hold. According to Suresh Kodoor, a member of ITEC (IT and ITeS Employees Centre), a welfare group for workers in the technology sector, “This is certainly contrary to what we are seeing on the ground. In fact, even as recently as last week we were hearing of layoffs, and some companies are reportedly in the midst of downsizing. There is certainly no euphoria around recruitments right now,” he said.

He pointed out that though IT results, which are currently being announced, are upbeat, most of the growth is clearly only in rupee terms, owing to rupee depreciation. “Even when results are announced, we are not seeing any additions in employee strength.”Ankita Somani, analyst with Angel Broking, agrees. “I have not been seeing any increase in jobs. In fact, the job situation was better last year. There is clearly no planned hiring that is happening, whatever recruitments are happening are on a case-by-case requirement basis,” she said.

Most IT companies, which used to give clear projections on hiring, are silent now, she added. “Employee utilisation levels are low and contracts being signed are all small, which means companies do not need to hire aggressively. Even those who have given projections are clearly setting lower recruitment targets. Employment may be generated in some niche IT areas, but in general, recruitment is in a slump.”

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