Job Vacancies Increase by 18% year-on-year in Asia Pacific

August 14, 20158:36 am1288 views

The Morgan McKinley Asia Pacific Employment Monitor for Q2 2015 shows that the long-term trend in vacancies continues to outpace the growth in those seeking new employment. On a year-on-year basis, vacancies rose by 18% from 13,576 to 16,052 in Q2 2015 compared to Q2 2014 in Asia Pacific markets.

Those seeking new employment was relatively flat (-2%) year-on-year. The statistics indicate that there is still acceleration in the job market. On a quarterly basis, both vacancies and job seekers increased at a similar pace, 5% and 8% percent respectively.

“This long-term trend is positive for job seekers and it indicates that there is still a shortage of skills in the market” said Richie Holliday, Chief Operations Officer, Asia Pacific. “People with the necessary skills are now in a better position to negotiate improved compensation packages.”

Recent bonus packages have been good and, since job seeker numbers are stable, it appears that companies are doing more to retain staff and overall job satisfaction is at a comfortable level. The second quarter showed a pickup in private wealth jobs in Singapore and Hong Kong, both important regional hubs for the sector, the Asian equivalent of private banking and wealth management centres in Europe such as Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Due to long established expertise and infrastructure, many wealthy individuals across Asia prefer to have their wealth managed from Singapore and Hong Kong. “There is demand for private bankers and wealth managers,” said Richie Holliday, Chief Operations Officer, Asia Pacific.

“As a result of the regulatory tightening of compliance and Know Your Client (KYC) requirements, the added inflows have also increased demand for supporting roles in fund administration and compliance.”

See: Asia Pacific Salary Levels Increase Minimally in 2015

However, M&A and corporate finance activity has not been rapid in Asia, like in Europe and USA, but deals that are global in nature demand input from the local expertise in Asia region. Many IT firms are soon realising that they are behind when it comes to security practices and measures. Hence they are making decisions to comprehensively renew and build these capabilities. This often requires multiple hires in IT-related roles, creating a number of job opportunities in IT industry in Asia Pacific.

Briefly spanning through each country in Asia, here are some insightful details on different markets:

  1. Australia: The Australian economy showed a positive surprise, growing at a higher rate of 2.3 percent than the consensus estimate of 2.1 percent. The Australian economy looks to remain sluggish as it adjusts to a post mining boom economy. There are, however, some positive signs for the financial sector: the statistical findings reveal a good increase in job vacancies from Q1 to Q2, thus reflecting a returning confidence from employers.
  2. Singapore: After hitting a low in 2014, consumer confidence in Singapore continued to grow in the second quarter of 2015, suggesting that the trend may be strengthening. Confidence is believed to have been boosted thanks to a lowering of electricity tariffs and foreign domestic helper levies. A one-year tax rebate on road taxes is likely to have played a role in supporting consumer confidence. There is positive news for Singaporeans, as studies reveal 19% increase in vacancies over the previous year.
  3.  Japan: The Japanese economy is showing clear signs of strong improvement. Although the economy has had many false starts over the years, a slew of economic data in the second quarter has been positive: CPI and GDP figures all surprised on the upside. In April, Japan reported the best jobs availability for 23 years. Proof that the economic recovery is taking hold in Japan was further strengthened by official figures showing unemployment at its lowest levels for 18 years.The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe released a new three year plan to accelerate the economy on a positive growth track to include softening on immigration requirements to potential employees with relevant language skills, which should open up opportunities for foreign IT-workers.
  4. China: Despite the fall in stock prices, there has been a strong upward trend in vacancies; 26% year-on-year and 29% quarter-on-quarter. This is reflective of organisations’ desire to build talent pipelines. The flow of new job seekers remained steady, hampered somewhat by regulatory issues and the demands of employers for multi-lingual staff, particularly those with the combination of fluent Mandarin and English.
  5. Hong Kong: The economy in Hong Kong continues to struggle, GDP growth has been slow and retail growth has declined, exasperated by a decrease in visitors from the mainland. In light of Hong Kong’s economic woes, it is now being urged by the Beijing government to concentrate on its economy.

Despite these situations, statistical findings show confidence among job seekers throughout recent events, with both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter increases in those seeking new roles. As a result, additional opportunities have grown year-on-year to accommodate this fresh pool of talent.

Considering the mixed economic data across the Asia Pacific region, the financial industry is proving resilient, with continuing growth in vacancies. It remains to be seen if the drop in Chinese equities continues and what effect, if any, it will have on the region in the third quarter. Employers are continuing to hire staff and many of the roles are long-term corporate infrastructure related, indicating confidence in the market for the near future.

Also read: Demand for HR professionals in Asia continue to increase

Image credit: morganmckinley.com.hk

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