Malaysia’s Slow Hiring Intent Likely to Continue in 2017

February 3, 20171:46 pm556 views

Malaysia witnessed sluggish online recruitment across most of 2016, and this slow hiring intent is likely to roll over into 2017.  According to a round-up of online hiring insights from the Monster Employment Index (MEI) in Malaysia, 2016 closed off with a -5% year-on-year decline in December.

2016 kicked off with -28% year-over-year decline in overall online hiring activity in January. Over the last 12 months, Malaysia continued to record consecutive decline in annual online hiring activity, seeing its steepest dip in February 2016, at -39% year-on-year.

February was also a particularly slow month for the job market, where most sectors saw the steepest annual decline in hiring activity in that time. In the following months, the pace of decline in e-recruitment fluctuated before finally slowing down in Q4. On an average, the country witnessed an overall -15% decline in annual online hiring in 2016.

“Overall online recruitment has slowed down in Malaysia in recent months and this is likely to remain this way in the first half of 2017. Much of this is driven by external factors, such as the global economic uncertainties and the influence of the declining oil industry, as well as the weak ringgit values, which undoubtedly have an effect on the local labour market overtime,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director of (APAC and Middle East).

But 2017 isn’t all doom and gloom. The latest MEI figures in December and November have showed a slowdown in the pace of decline across the board, which indicates slight positive hiring sentiments.

“This is likely to be true in sectors such as Technology, where the government will be focusing more on this year, putting in place tech-friendly policies and measures to ensure sufficient opportunities in this space. Malaysian businesses are also expecting to increase salary, revenue, export and employment in 2017.”

Malaysia sees a hiring drop of 5 percent in December 2016 according to MEI findings

Malaysia sees a hiring drop of 5 percent in December 2016 according to MEI findings

No indications of improvement for the Banking and Financial sector in Q1 2017

2016 has been a slow year for the BFSI sector in terms of growth in employment, where the sector faced 12 consecutive annual declines. As of December 2016, the sector witnessed a -12% year-on-year decline.

The sharpest decline was recorded in February, at -38% year-on-year. As per Malaysia’s MEI, the average annual decline for the sector in 2016 was -19%.

Malaysia’s IT sector likely to see positive growth in Q1

2016 has been a challenging year for the tech sector, where the market faced decline for nine out of 12 months. The year begun with -25% year-on-year decline in January, recorded its steepest decline in February at -49% year-on-year, before capping off with 15% year-on-year growth in December.

Overall the sector still saw a -12% year-on-year decline in 2016, but the pace of decline has slowed down significantly in Q4.

Uncertainty ahead in Malaysia’s Marketing sector

In line with the rest of Malaysia’s key sectors, 2016 has also been a slow-paced one when it comes to online hiring in the Marketing sector. The year commenced with -20% year-on-year decline in online hiring activity, recording its steepest decline in February at -22% year-on-year, and ending with -6% year-on-year decline. On an average, Malaysia saw -11% year-on-year decline in hiring in this sector.

Demand for HR professionals may see improvement in Q1 2017

Looking specifically at the demand for HR professionals in Malaysia, the year kicked off with -22% year-on-year decline in January, followed by the -29% year-on-year decline in February, the steepest decline recorded in 2016. On average, the sector saw -12% year-on-year decline in 2016.

The monthly Monster Employment Index (MEI) is a gauge of online job posting activities, recording the industries and occupations showing the highest and lowest growth in recruitment activity. From these insights, Monster can provide some forecast for the future for online hiring activity in Malaysia.


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