The year 2020 was not good for the job market. Government and private job advertisements appeared at the beginning of the year, but dwindled in March because of the coronavirus outbreak. Job ads dropped in both newspapers and job websites. But the circular declaring two BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service) exams gave job seekers a sense of hope at the end of the year.
Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder told Prothom Alo that 2020 was not a good year for either employers or job seekers. Many lost their jobs. Companies closed down. Several sectors, tourism and transport in particular, were hit hard. These sectors will revive and generate employment one the coronavirus vaccine arrives and the coronavirus transmission decreases. However, two BCS circulars at the end of the year is obviously a light of hope for job seekers.
Coronavirus postpones recruitment tests
Recruitment tests were postponed one after the other due to the coronavirus outbreak in March last year. More than 450,000 had applied for the 41stBCS examination, which has been delayed due to the pandemic. Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PCS) couldn’t say when the test will be held. Examinations of 100,000 applicants got stuck in two recruitment tests including for the post of assistant directors of the Anti-Corruption Commission. The food directorate couldn’t hold the test of 1.5 million (15 lakh) applicants. Preliminary exams of the combined recruitment test of seven banks was also postponed due to coronavirus.
Slump in new job market
Newspapers and online job portals have not published any significant government job ads amid coronavirus. Private job ads dropped too. Pharmaceutical companies publish the maximum job advertisements in newspapers usually. They also had only a few job ads due to coronavirus. Chief executive officer of the country’s largest job website Bdjobs, Fahim Masrur, speaking to Prothom Alo, said, “Job ads dropped by 80 per cent on our website in April and May. Many companies postponed the recruitment process. Many also halted interviews after selection.”
A report on the job market released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in mid-2020 said, the job market collapsed in Bangladesh due to coronavirus. Job advertisements reduced significantly. Job ads decreased by 35 per cent in March and by 87 per cent in April. Job ads and postings dropped by 95 per cent in apparel and education sectors in April, 81 per cent in health, 82 per cent in information technology and 64 per cent in the development sector.
Two BCS gives ray light of hope
PSC announced the circular of the 42nd special BCS at the end of the year to recruit 2,000 physicians. Application submission has ended. PSC announced recruitment of another 1,800 of the 43rd BCS. PSC is accepting applications now. The announcement of the two BCS exams has brought fresh hope among job seekers. Tanvir Tushar, an international relations graduate from Jahangirnagar University, said there was no good job advertisements during coronavirus pandemic. And the age limit for government service was running out too. So the two BCS circulars brought hope. Job studies had become slack but now have revived. Many will get jobs in the two BCS. We hope that more job circulars appear in the offing, he added.