By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
BANK Negara Malaysia (BNM) foresees higher job creation in the financial services sector this year, in line with the overall increase in demand for high-skilled positions within the segment.
In its latest quarterly report on labour market statistics in the financial services sector, BNM maintained a positive outlook on labour market conditions for 2018.
It stated that more new jobs in the financial industry could be expected within the first three to six months of the year.
BNM also said 70% of financial institutions (FIs) do not anticipate any layoffs and discharges for the year.
According to the report, an 8.7% year-on-year growth was recorded in the number of jobs created in 2017 to 7,200 compared to 6,624 in 2016.
It said the higher job creation reflected a continued demand for high-skilled positions among banking institutions, development FIs, as well as insurance and takaful operators in the country.
In the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17), total employment in the financial services sector increased by 0.3% to 164,885 persons from 164,463 persons a year ago, while job vacancies climbed by 7.3% to 5,609 positions against 5,227 positions over the same period.
This was mainly due to the increase in job creation during the year, coupled with marginally higher job separations, BNM said.
The number of job separations in 4Q17 stood at 6,417, a 2% rise from 6,284 recorded in 4Q16.
A bulk of the separation was due to quits and resignations, with layoffs and discharges representing less than 800 cases during the quarter.
The government’s push for automation and digitisation within the financial services sector has also translated to jobs being shed at the lower level in recent years.
Malaysian Employers Federation ED Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan previously told a local news site that the banking sector had collectively removed 18,000 jobs in 2015, as banking operations go digital.
Shamsuddin argued that while new highskilled jobs are being created through greater utilisation of robotics, it is not moving at par with the number of jobs lost.
“For every five jobs lost that are typically filled by men in Industry 4.0, only three new jobs are being created.”