May e-recruitment down again with retail worst performer

By MARK RAO

Online recruitment in Malaysia continued to decline in May, falling 14% year-on-year (YoY) with retail the worst performing sector for two consecutive months, according to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI) findings.

The monthly gauge of online job posting activities by Monster.com said employment in the retail industry plummeted 35% YoY in May this year, only slightly better than the 36% slump recorded in the previous month of April.

Recruitment in the hospitality industry followed behind with a 23% decline over the same period, while the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment sectors also noted an 18% decrease.

The engineering, construction and real estate and logistics, courier and shipping industries also posted lower online hiring in May, falling YoY by 12% and 7% respectively.

Despite the challenging operating environment, the oil and gas (O&G) sector was the top performer for the month, notching a 16% YoY jump in recruitment.

The performance marks the first time the O&G sector was the highest growth industry since the MEI was launched in Malaysia in April 2011.

Online hiring in the manufacturing, automotive and ancillary industry also rose by 9% YoY in May, while the information technology, telecommunications and business process outsourcing sector noted the same rise in recruitment.

Monster.com Asia Pacific and Middle East MD Sanjay Modi said analysts are upbeat on Malaysia’s economic outlook despite the bleak e-recruitment numbers, with select sectors such as O&G demonstrating fairly healthy growth.

“The O&G sector has done particularly well (in May) as businesses look to outsource operations here to reduce outgoing expenses,” Modi said in a statement last week.

“Other ongoing factors such as the recent inflation have led to a hike in cost of living and a dip in consumer spending, resulting in a decline in hiring in the retail sectors and its corresponding roles.”

In terms of occupations, customer service and hospitality and travel jobs turned in a poor showing in May, posting hefty YoY declines by 64% and 48% respectively.

Online recruitment for finance and accounts; human resources and administration; engineering and real estate; and software, hardware and telecommunications roles were all lower for the month, falling 14%, 13%, 9% and 4% respectively.

Sales and business development jobs were the most in demand for the month, with hiring rising 9% YoY, while recruitment for logistics-related roles noted a marginal 1% increase over the same period.

MEI Malaysia is an aggregate measure of changes in job listings across the country, based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities and culled from a representative selection of online career outlets.