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Asia – Rise in job ads as business confidence improves

28 May 2013

Job adverts in Asia grew by +7.7% in the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the same time a year ago, according to the latest job index by Robert Walters. The levels of job advertising were also up by +4.4% from the previous quarter, the recruiter said.

The Robert Walters Asia Job Index tracks advertisement volumes for professional positions across the leading job boards and national newspapers in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

It found that all countries showed an increase in recruitment advertising in the last quarter with the exception of Singapore where job ads declined by -0.7%. In China, the continued expansion of FMCG and luxury goods companies has maintained high levels of job adverts in these sectors.

“The overall increase in job advertising numbers is a positive sign of improved business confidence in the region. However, Singapore was an exception with a slight decrease on the previous quarter, which can be attributed to fewer businesses choosing to hub in the country due to the strength of Singapore dollar,” said Mark Ellwood, managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia.  

"It is also important to remember that the Chinese New Year holidays would have had a depreciating effect on advertising activity, so Q2’s advertising figures should give a clearer indicator of recruitment demand.”

Media reports alluded to confidence improving among Asian economies in the quarter, supported by China’s reported GDP figure of 7.5%. The retail sector continued to be a strong area for job advertising, with advert numbers increasing in Japan (8.5%), Malaysia (18.3%) and Hong Kong (10.9%), following improved consumer sentiment.

Malaysia and Hong Kong led the way with the overall rise in job advertisements, noting increases of 13.5% and 10.8% respectively. 

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