Despite stark differences in industry hiring trends and outlook, the need for reskilling/upskilling stood out as a constant in one analysis.

In a talent platform firm’s analysis of Aug 2022 vs Aug 2023 hiring patterns across key Asian markets (Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore), some trends on the evolving employment landscapes were observed.

The firm’s Malaysia jobs data showed that there had been relatively consistent job demand over the past three months, signifying a stable market. Job opportunities in Malaysia during the analysis period have shown a positive resurgence, comprising 1% month-over-month growth and a 7% year-over-year growth across various industries.

In contrast, the firm’s Singapore data showed challenges with a -1% month-on-month growth rate and a -14% YoY decline in hiring demand, and a 4% decrease in job demand over the last three months of the analysis period. This adjustment “aligns with a moderated economic growth curve, signaling signs of vulnerability in the job market and a reduced pace of hiring.”

Data analyzed for the Philippines talent landscape showed the country has been witnessing volatility in its job market, with a 5% decrease in job demand over the same three-month period and negative 9% YoY trends. A 3% month-on-month growth does suggest a reviving job market in the near future.

Other findings

In the hospitality sector, talent hiring in Malaysia experienced an 88% YoY growth sector. Also:

    • Data for the hospitality sector for Singapore and the Philippines showed more modest figures of 8% and 0%, respectively.
    • The retail sectors for Malaysia showed a growth of 63%, the Philippines 45%, and Singapore -2% (Aug 2023).
    • The logistics sector saw increased demand in Malaysia (25%) due to significant e-commerce growth. Conversely, Singapore (-4%) and the Philippines (-35%) faced challenges in this sector.
    • In the technology domain, notable declines were observed in IT, Telecom/ISP, and BPO/ITES in all three regions. The unpredictable global landscape impacted these sectors, with the Philippines showcasing a unique pattern of IT, Telecom (-22%) and BPO/ITES (0%).
    • Malaysia data showed a 3% YoY growth in software, hardware, and telecom roles amid ongoing digitalization efforts across industries. Sales and business development roles recorded a 34% YoY growth. Conversely, the country’s customer service sector saw a 44% YoY decline. In contrast, the Philippines experienced growth in the customer service domain, recording a 6% YoY trend, attributable to its status as a hub for customer service outsourcing activities within the Business Process Outsourcing sector.
    • In Marketing & Communications roles, the firm’s data for Singapore and the Philippines showed a -18% and -23% YoY contraction.
    • For hospitality and travel roles, Malaysia data showed a surge of 133% YoY growth. In contrast, Singapore and the Philippines data showed 8% and 0% YoY growth for the same roles, respectively.
    • For purchasing/logistics/supply chain professionals, data for Malaysia showed a 2% YoY increase, while Singapore (-9%) and the Philippines (-24%) had declines.

According to Sekhar Garisa, CEO, foundit, the firm that released its data findings: “Skills enhancement is crucial to navigating the ever-changing job market in this digital age successfully, and it is imperative that we remain flexible and well-prepared to embrace these changes. Malaysia is currently experiencing a favorable hiring environment, but there is an increasing demand for new skills across various sectors. On the other hand, Singapore has had a moderated economic outlook, which provides a valuable opportunity for job seekers. Meanwhile, the Philippines exhibits a recovering job market, underscoring the continuous need for learning and growth in alignment with changing hiring trends. Across these three diverse markets, the constant remains re-skilling and upskilling. The common thread connects job seekers and employers on their journey to success and progress in this rapidly evolving landscape.”