GOOD news for job seekers: First-quarter recruitment advertisements in Singapore bucked a regional slowdown to grow at a robust clip.
The number of job advertisements for executive appointments in Singapore increased by 11.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the last three months of 2011, according to the latest Asia Job Index by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.
The report tracks advertisement volumes for professional positions across six economies in Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, mainland China, South Korea and Japan.
The Singapore quarterly increase came despite a 1.4 per cent dip in Asia during the same period. The report cited the Christmas and New Year holidays as reasons that impacted the volume and speed of recruitment activity during this period.
In Singapore, job advertisements calling for consultants and analysts saw the sharpest increase with a 55.6 per cent rise compared to the previous quarter. The Singapore property management sector was also a key driver of growth with a 34.7 per cent quarterly increase.
The financial services sector in Singapore continues to be a challenging market with growth confined principally to those areas subject to heightened regulation. In particular, advertisements calling for compliance officers and solicitors showed a quarterly increase of 16.1 per cent. The report also showed that the most number of job advertisements in Singapore for the first three months of 2012 were taken up by the business development sector with 81,157 ads. However, while many industries here showed a rise in the number of job advertisements, other sectors seem to be slowing down hiring. Advertisements calling for editors and reporters fell the most, down 58.9 per cent from the last quarter.
The report also cited year-on-year growth of recruitment advertising in Singapore at 33.7 per cent, compared to the 16 per cent growth in Asia. This is the second largest in Asia after South Korea, which saw a 43.5 per cent yearly increase. Conversely, Hong Kong saw the lowest increase in job advertising with a yearly rise of 7.3 per cent.
China saw a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent in job advertising, mostly attributable to the medical services sector as growing affluence in the country drives greater demand for and investment in healthcare. This sector was the largest contributor to the number of job advertisements in China and saw a growth of 7.2 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2011.
Findings in Malaysia showed that its 20.9 per cent yearly growth was largely impacted by advertisements calling for solicitors and compliance officers, which showed a 19.6 per cent quarterly increase.