foundit (formerly Monster APAC & ME), a leading talent platform, has unveiled the foundit Insights Tracker (fit) report for August 2023, offering comprehensive insights into hiring trends across Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
This in-depth analysis sheds light on the evolving employment landscapes in these dynamic Asian economies.
The tracker reveals several intriguing trends in the comparative analysis of job markets in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Malaysia has demonstrated a relatively consistent job demand over the past three months, signifying a stable market.
Job opportunities in Malaysia have shown a positive resurgence with 1% month-over-month (MoM) growth and a robust 7% year-over-year (YoY) growth across various industries. In contrast, Singapore faces challenges with a -1% MoM and a significant -14% YoY decline in hiring demand.
This adjustment aligns with a moderated economic growth curve, signalling signs of vulnerability in the job market and a reduced pace of hiring. The Tracker data also reveals a 4% decrease in job demand over the last three months.
Similarly, the Philippines has witnessed volatility in its job market, with a 5% decrease in job demand over the same three-month period and negative 9% YoY trends.
Despite this decline, the MoM uptick by 3% suggests a reviving job market, hinting at the potential for recovery in the near future.
Commenting on these findings, Sekhar Garisa, CEO of foundit, said, “Skill enhancement is crucial to navigating the ever-changing job market in this digital age successfully, and it is imperative that we remain flexible and well-prepared to embrace these changes. Malaysia is currently experiencing a favourable hiring environment, but there is an increasing demand for new skills across various sectors.”
“On the other hand, Singapore has a moderated economic outlook, which provides a valuable opportunity for job seekers to enhance their skills and plan for the future proactively. Meanwhile, the Philippines exhibits a recovering job market, underscoring the continuous need for learning and growth in alignment with changing hiring trends,” he explains.
Garisa added, “Across these three diverse markets, the constant remains re-skilling and upskilling. The common thread connects job seekers and employers on their journey to success and progress in this rapidly evolving landscape.”
Malaysia demonstrated resilience with consistent job demand and notable growth in various sectors.
Malaysia experienced an extraordinary YoY growth of 88% in the hospitality sector. This growth can be attributed to strategic government initiatives, including substantial investments in overseas promotions and digital content on international television channels.
In contrast, Singapore and the Philippines reported more modest figures of 8% and 0%, respectively.
The Retail sector witnessed remarkable growth in Malaysia (63%) and the Philippines (45%), with the latter also experiencing a robust double-digit month-on-month increase. Luxury e-commerce and the expansion of retail outlets contributed to this surge.
In Singapore, the retail sector reported a -2% decline for August 2023. However, an optimistic outlook prevails for the upcoming quarter in Singapore’s retail industry.
The logistics sector saw increased demand in Malaysia (25%) due to significant e-commerce growth. Conversely, Singapore (-4%) and the Philippines (-35%) faced challenges in this sector.
In the technology domain, notable declines were observed in IT, Telecom/ISP, and BPO/ITES in all three regions. The unpredictable global landscape impacted these sectors, with the Philippines showcasing a unique pattern of IT, Telecom (-22%) and BPO/ITES (0%).
Tech sector thrives: Malaysia’s 3% YoY growth in software, hardware, and telecom roles
In Malaysia, the tech sector demonstrates commendable resilience, with software, hardware, and telecom roles experiencing a 3% YoY growth.
This growth reflects the ongoing digitisation efforts across industries, demanding professionals with technology expertise to drive innovation and efficiency.
Sales & Business Development roles also recorded an impressive 34% YoY growth, signifying a proactive approach by businesses to expand their market presence and seize emerging opportunities.
Conversely, Malaysia’s customer service sector faced significant challenges, witnessing a substantial -44% YoY decline due to evolving dynamics and automation’s increasing role.
In contrast, the Philippines experiences growth in the customer service domain, recording a 6% YoY trend, in line with its position as a hub for customer service outsourcing activities within the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
Singapore and the Philippines share a -18% and -23% YoY contraction in marketing & communications roles, possibly reflecting adjustments in marketing strategies amidst evolving market dynamics.
Regarding hospitality and travel roles, Malaysia sees a remarkable surge of 133% YoY growth. In contrast, Singapore and the Philippines report more conservative figures of 8% and 0% YoY growth for the same roles, respectively.
Purchase/ logistics/ supply chain professionals face diverse challenges, with Malaysia showing a slight 2% YoY increase, while Singapore (-9%) and the Philippines (-24%) report declines.