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Online hiring dips in SG, Malaysia; improves in Philippines

Singapore’s online hiring activities saw its steepest decline since April 2015 at -11 per cent year-over-year, according to the latest Monster data.

Online hiring in the Philippines is looking slightly more positive in June 2015, despite a -32 per cent year-over-year decline when compared to June 2014. This figure, although in decline, is significantly higher than the -43 per cent reported year-on-year for May 2015.

The data also highlighted that Malaysia’s online hiring activities has fallen by 24 per cent year-over-year between June 2014 and June 2015 – a slight dip from last month’s 23 per cent decline.

Singapore: Deepest decline
Among all 14 industry sectors, the consumer goods/FMCG, food & packaged food, home appliance, garments/textiles/leather, gems and jewellery industry continues to register a year-over-year decline at -14 per cent, followed closely by the hospitality industry sector at -13 per cent.

The education sector is once again the best performing industry year-over-year at one per cent – the only industry that saw a positive year-on-year growth this month.

“Singapore’s economy faced an unexpected drop in online hiring in Q1, with the service sector slowing down and manufacturers cutting back on hiring activities. Despite the decline, wages continue to rise,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director of Monster.com (India/ Middle East/ Southeast Asia/ Hong Kong).

“The decline in online hiring could be attributed to companies’ inability to locate the right candidates for the job, as opposed to a decrease in demand for labour. Constraints including the government’s restrictions on the hiring of expats continue to pose a challenge for employers, even in this quarter,” Mr Modi added.

Philippines: Significant growth
Across the 12 industries monitored by Monster, the BPO/ITES sector registered the most significant growth at eight per cent year-over-year. It was also the only industry sector that saw a positive growth year-over-year since April 2015. The IT, Telecom/ISP industry remained stagnant at 0 per cent year-over-year.

On the other hand, the production/manufacturing, automotive and ancillary industry registered a year-over-year decline of 56 per cent, its fifth decline since February 2015.

Customer service roles saw its first positive growth since April 2015 at 10 per cent year-over-year, which is also the only occupational group that registered positive growth. The engineering/production, real estate roles saw the steepest decline at -49 per cent year-over-year, the fifth consecutive decline since February 2015.

“Slow online hiring in the first half of Q2 can be attributed to Philippines’ weak Foreign Direct Investment, where figures have fallen by over 50 per cent. The BPO/ITES sector – the best performing sector as seen in the MEI results – is set for growth with the continued support from the government,” said Mr Modi.

“With the 2016 presidential elections coming up, online hiring activities are more likely to see greater improvement, as the new government is expected to boost Philippines’ economy, creating more job opportunities,” he added.

Malaysia: Online hiring drops
Unaffected by the overall decline year-over-year, the BFSI sector continues to lead for the third consecutive month at five per cent year-on-year in Malaysia. This is followed by the hospitality sector, which witnessed a growth of three per cent year-on-year, down from 8 per cent year-on-year in May 2015.

Online hiring in the IT, telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES sector has been steadily declining, and saw its steepest drop between June 2014 and June 2015, at -22 per cent year-over-year. On the other hand, the Advertising, Market Research, Public Relations, Media and Entertainment industry is seeing slight improvements in online hiring, despite its decline at -15 per cent year-over-year.

“Many service industry sectors and occupations are witnessing dramatic declines in online hiring, as seen in the MEI. Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is currently seeing its weakest PMI readings due to poor economic conditions. This will prompt layoffs within companies and online hiring activities will continue to see poor growth in the coming quarter,” said Mr Modi.

“Local businesses are still not confident about hiring intentions, due to a continuing struggle of mismatch in the demand for talent and the market supply,” he added.

Despite the negative growth across all occupational groups, finance & accounts roles experienced the least decline at -1 per cent year-over-year, a slight improvement since May 2015. The software, hardware and telecom jobs continue to see the most decline in online hiring activities for the second month, at -28 per cent year-over-year.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.