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Malaysia hit hardest in February by IT jobs slump in Southeast Asia, study shows

AvantiKumar | March 30, 2016
The slow economic recovery means that Southeast Asia employers have been cautious in their overall hiring for IT roles In Southeast Asia, said Monster's Sanjay Modi.

Sanjay Modi, MD, (India, Middle East & Southeast Asia) Monster com 

Photo - Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster dotcom (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong).

 

According to online jobs platform Monster's Employment Index (MEI), Malaysia has been hit the hardest by the slump in Southeast Asia IT jobs during February 2016.

Sanjay Modi, Monster's managing director for India, Middle East, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong, said the slow economic recovery early this year, which has affected online demand for IT professionals, has continued across Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia.

Modi said the latest round of MEI data, which is a monthly gauge of real-time online hiring activity of millions of employer job opportunities aggregated from a large representative selection of career Web sites and online job listings, showed that in Malaysia, the sector reported -49 percent year-over-year slump in online hiring, down from -25 percent decline registered in January. Month-on-month hiring has also fallen by 17 percent in February, making it the second lowest growth industry in Malaysia.

He said that Singapore reported the least decline in hiring activities amongst the three markets, registering -4 percent year-over-year dip. This is a 6 percent drop from 2 percent year-on-year growth recorded in January.

Modi added that said online hiring activities in the IT sector in Philippines also reported a 6 percent dip from its annual hiring in January (reporting -1 percent drop year-over-year), at -5 percent year-over-year. Despite the dip, the sector remains amongst the top growth industry groups in the market.

Online hiring of the Hardware, Software and Telecom professionals also showed falling demand, as Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines continued to report declining hiring activities, he said. The group is also amongst the lowest growth occupation groups in Singapore and Malaysia.

Singapore once again reported the least decline across the three markets, at -19 percent year-over-year, said Modi. This is a 7 percent drop from -12 percent decline year-over-year reported in January 2016.

Steep decline

He said Malaysia fared the worst among the three markets, "reporting a whopping -73 percent decline in online demand for Hardware, Software and Telecom professionals. The group also saw the steepest decline in online demand between February 2015 and 2016 among the occupation groups surveyed by the MEI."

Meanwhile, the Philippines showed a -30 percent year-over-year dip in online hiring between February 2015 and 2016, a marginal 1 percent dip from -29 percent decline recorded in January 2016. Despite the decline, the group is among the top growth occupations in the market.

 Other Malaysia cross-industry findings include:
- Malaysia witnessed a -39 percent year-over-year decline in online hiring in February, a dip from -28 percent recorded between January 2015 and 2016
- None of the industry sectors and occupational groups registered positive annual growth
- The Production/ Manufacturing, Automotive and Ancillary sector reported the least decline at -10 percent year-over-year, while the Logistic, Courier/ Freight/ Transportation, Shipping/ Marine sector continued to record the steepest year-over-year decline at -56 percent
- Marketing & Communications professionals once again saw the least decline, registering a -10 percent year-over-over dip, while the Software, Hardware, Telecom roles had the least demand at -73 percent year-over-year

"As the global economy struggles to recover, hiring activities across Southeast Asia experienced an overall slump and the IT sector has not been spared either," said Modi. "Some employers have as a result, been prompted to be cautious with their hiring and to manage resources wisely during this period of time."

"Major tech players have based their Asian operations in Singapore, and have gone on hiring sprees since," he said. "However, hiring has been stunted partly due to the lack of qualified candidates in Singapore's limited talent pool. Malaysia has been an attractive state for foreign investments and IT hiring activities are likely to pick up once businesses proceed with investment projects. To further enhance the productivity and quality of work in the Philippines' IT sector, some employers have chosen to focus on addressing skill gaps within the sector, over aggressively hiring to meet market demands."

In the South East Asia region, Monster Employment Index was first launched in Singapore in May 2014 with data collected since January 2011 followed by Philippines and Malaysia in May 2015 with data collected since February 2014.

 

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