Asean job market is turning increasingly tough
Via FT : Survey shows Malaysians suffering most as labour markets tighten across the region
Now is not a good time to be looking for a job in Southeast Asia as economic growth cools down across the region.
FT Confidential Research, a unit of the Financial Times, expects unemployment to rise in the Asean region this year after significant job losses in 2015.
An FTCR survey of jobseekers in five of the region’s biggest economies shows that more than half of them are finding it either hard or very hard to land a new job.
The survey was conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam during the last quarter of 2015, with 1,000 respondents in each country.
Malaysians in particular were pessimistic about their prospects. About two-thirds of the respondents described the job market as tough.
There have been lay-offs across the economy. CIMB, Malaysia’s second-largest bank, cut 4,000 jobs last year. Several other banks also downsized as loan growth slacked off.
Central bank data show that bank lending grew at an annual rate of 7.9 per cent in December, down from an average of 9 per cent for the full year and 9.6 per cent in 2014.
Malaysia Airlines fired 6,000 employees last year as it cut costs after years in the red and struggled to recover from the loss of two of its aircraft, one missing over the Indian Ocean and the other shot down over Ukraine.
Malaysia’s oil and gas industry is also shedding jobs. Petronas, the national oil company, has yet to announce redundancies but it has made drastic spending cuts to cope with cheap oil. This has hit its contractors, leaving many non-permanent oil and gas workers out of a job and struggling to meet their financial obligations.
Royal Dutch Shell will cut 1,300 jobs or a fifth of its workforce in Malaysia over the next two years.
Across the border in Indonesia, oil company Chevron plans to cut its workforce.
Among those still in work, the survey found that a large minority of Asean workers were worried about job security. Again, Malaysians stood out, with 6 per cent saying they felt very insecure, followed by Thai workers at 4 per cent.
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