Singapore, Hong Kong job ads fall on crisis: report

Singapore, Hong Kong job ads fall on crisis: report


Singapore: Job advertisements in Asia’s financial centres Singapore and Hong Kong fell in the third quarter as the financial crisis spurred companies to cut costs, recruitment firm Robert Walters said on Thursday.

The number of job advertisements in Singapore fell 10.2% to 192,985 in the July-to-September period compared to the second quarter, Robert Walters said. The number of job advertisements in Hong Kong fell 8.5% to 433,818 over the same period.

The global financial crisis, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, has spread beyond financial markets and into the real economy as weak consumer sentiment drags on company profits.

Shipping firms and airlines have slashed services in response to the fall in demand. “Companies are being more selective about the roles for which they are hiring," Robert Walters said. “Fewer new positions are being created, with many businesses largely focused on replacement hires only."

In Hong Kong, the hardest hit areas have been those in trading and sales exposed to derivative and structured products, but demand for people with treasury and cash management experience is on the rise, Robert Walters said.

“Areas such as compliance and risk management have seen increasingly levels of activity as companies seek to quantify and reduce their exposure to the global banking crisis," the report said, adding information technology was also still a strong area of recruitment.

Hong Kong’s jobless rate rose to a higher-than-expected 3.4% in the third quarter. Singapore is set to release a flash estimate for third-quarter unemployment on Friday, and the government has warned the country’s jobless rate is expected to rise over the next few quarters.