Overall online hiring within the IT and BPO sectors in Southeast Asia continued to witness moderate growth in April, in spite of the falling demand for software, hardware, and telecom professionals.
This is reflected in the latest round of Monster Employment Index (MEI) data, a monthly gauge of online job hiring activity by Monster.com. The index records the industries and occupations that show the highest and lowest growth in recruitment activity, including data from the IT sectors.
The Philippines reported 11% year-over-year increase in hiring activities in IT and BPO sectors, the steepest growth recorded among the three markets. This is the market’s first positive growth recorded since January 2016. Month-on-month hiring activities have also been seeing slow but steady growth.
Malaysia exhibited -11% year-over-year drop in hiring activities. Despite the dip, the market’s pace of decline has eased up since the start of the year. Like the Philippines, its month-on-month hiring activities have seen slight growth.
Singapore’s annual growth in hiring activities has been fluctuating, seeing a marginal 1% growth between April 2015 and 2016. This is an 8% dip from 9% year-over-year growth recorded in March.
When looking at software, hardware, and telecom roles, none of the markets witnessed positive growth in hiring demand between April 2015 and 2016. The group saw the steepest drop in demand in Malaysia, which reported a -39% annual decline.
Singapore recorded -4% year-over-year decline in job demands, the least among the three markets. The role is also amongst the occupations recording the least decline in the market. Philippines followed closely behind at -5% year-over-year growth, a 23% leap from -28% year-over-year reported in March.
“The Philippines’ attractive labor market has been a key catalyst to growing hiring numbers across most sectors, including IT-related sectors. In the coming months, demands for BPO-IT professionals and web developers are likely to continue to soar,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster.com (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong).
But overall online hiring in the Philippines experienced -3% contraction in annual online hiring activities this April. However, this is a 21% improvement from -24% recorded between March 2015 and 2016.
In April, the retail sector reported 49% year-over-year growth in online hiring, emerging the top growth industry in Philippines. This is the sector’s first positive growth reported since March 2015. Month-on-month hiring activities between March and April have also gone up by 2%.
The production/manufacturing, automotive and ancillary sector once again reported the sharpest drop in online hiring activities, at -56% year-over-year decline. However, this is a slight improvement from -58% reported in between March 2015 and 2016.
When looking at hiring activities in the occupational groups, customer service roles continue to take lead in online job demand, reporting 33% year-over-year growth. This is a 12% leap from 21% year-over-year growth registered in March, the steepest growth recorded by the group since August 2015.
Demands within the hospitality and travel job roles remained the weakest amongst the groups, seeing -63% year-over-year decline in online job postings. The group is currently in its ninth consecutive month of annual decline.
“The Philippines economy had expanded faster than analysts? predictions in Q1, largely driven by jobs across the services sectors. This expansion has given rise to employee demands for various related roles, with the retail sector taking lead in hiring activities,” said Modi.
“The Philippines is also likely to continue to lure more businesses, thanks to its business-friendly environment, which will continue to drive the labor market. Demands for financial analysts, BPO and IT professionals, Web developers and healthcare workers will be on the rise in the months ahead.”