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Robert Walters Asia Job Index Q4 2010

Robert Walters
2011-02-17 21:45 2566

HONG KONG, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ --

Robert Walters, the international recruitment consultancy, today publishes its Asia Job Index for the fourth quarter of 2010. The Robert Walters Asia Job Index tracks advertisement volumes for professional positions across the leading job boards and national newspapers in Hong Kong, Singapore, mainland China and Japan.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Advertisements placed in Q4 2010 increased by 57.4% compared with Q4 2009 -- indicative of the ongoing confidence across the recruitment markets of the Asia region. Japan in particular saw a large year on year increase of 126.73%, with significant advertising growth in the HR, legal and IT sectors.
  • Activity within medical recruitment in Japan also increased as a consequence of drug and clinical research deregulation.
  • Quarter on quarter, advertisements numbers across the region increased by 3.1%.
  • However in Hong Kong and Singapore, quarter on quarter advertisement volumes were down 7% and 9% respectively as a result of the impact of the festive period and the traditional slowdown in recruitment activity, particularly in banking and financial services, towards the end of the year.
  • Only Japan saw an increase in job advertisements over the course of the quarter, increasing 42.73% from October to December.

ROBERT WALTERS ASIA JOB INDEX

The Robert Walters Asia Job Index indicates that the total number of advertisements for professional positions in Q4 2010 was up 3.10% on the previous quarter due primarily to significant growth in Japan. Compared to the equivalent Q4 in 2009, overall numbers of job advertisements have increased by 57.42% across the region. Whilst the figures indicate maintained confidence in the market recovery, Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China all saw a slowdown in industry movement over the course of the quarter. This is quite normal at this time of year as the Christmas period approaches, headcount budgets are reached and candidates await bonus payments. Confidence remains high however, as demand for HR, IT and legal services continues and momentum is expected to return following bonuses this year.

Month by month analysis of job advertisements for professional positions placed in Q3 2010 / Q4 2010:

  Hong Kong *  Singapore  Japan  Mainland China  TOTAL 
Jul-10 132,949 88,101 205,782 3,684,633 4,111,465
Aug-10 135,129 86,930 184,262 4,062,467 4,468,788
Sep-10 136,357 84,634 170,346 3,946,119 4,337,456
Total in Q3 2010  404,435  259,665  560,390  11,693,219  12,917,709 
           
Oct-10 127,242 88,681 183,771 4,063,104 4,462,798
Nov-10 126,790 76,211 187,390 4,064,219 4,454,610
Dec-10 122,166 71,299 262,292 3,944,679 4,400,436
Total in Q4 2010  376,198  236,191  633,453  12,072,002  13,317,844 
% change Q3 2010 - Q4 2010 -6.98% -9.04% 13.04% 3.24% 3.10%
% change Oct 2010 - Dec 2010 -3.99% -19.60% 42.73% -2.91% -1.40%

Quarter on Quarter analysis of job advertisements for professional positions placed in Q4 2009 / Q4 2010:

  2009  2010  % change 
Hong Kong *   
October 114,741 127,242 10.89%
November 112,504 126,790 12.70%
December 105,708 122,166 15.57%
HONG KONG TOTAL Q4   332,953  376,198  12.99% 
       
Singapore       
October 74,128 88,681 19.63%
November 71,348 76,211 6.82%
December 59,916 71,299 19.00%
SINGAPORE TOTAL Q4  205,392  236,191  15.00% 
       
Japan       
October 93,703 183,771 96.12%
November 77,594 187,390 141.50%
December 108,092 262,292 142.66%
JAPAN TOTAL Q4  279,389  633,453  126.73% 
       
Mainland China       
October 2,636,452 4,063,104 54.11%
November 2,493,417 4,064,219 63.00%
December 2,512,573 3,944,679 57.00%
MAINLAND CHINA TOTAL Q4  7,642,442  12,072,002  57.96% 
       
TOTAL ASIA       
October 2,919,024 4,462,798 52.89%
November 2,754,863 4,454,610 61.70%
December 2,786,289 4,400,436 57.93%
TOTAL Q4  8,460,176  13,317,844  57.42% 

*Hong Kong figures have been adjusted to reflect the inclusion of Career Times advertisements.

Sector Analysis -- number of jobs advertised for professional roles in Q4 compared to Q3 2010:

  Hong Kong Q3 2010    Hong Kong Q4 2010    % change   
  Jul  Aug  Sep  Q3 Total  Oct  Nov  Dec  Q4 Total  Q4/Q3   
Retail Servicing / Sales / Business Development 17,124 17,275 17,616 52,015 17,028 17,179 18,998 53,205 2.29%  
Property Management 2,061 2,108 2,456 6,625 1,800 1,852 1,587 5,239 -20.92%  
Operation (Product, Logistics) 8,257 8,643 8,552 25,452 7,777 7,488 6,895 22,160 -12.93%  
Merchandising / Purchasing 6,243 6,078 5,816 18,137 5,502 5,312 6,159 16,973 -6.42%  
Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister / Compliance Officer 1,954 1,889 1,940 5,783 1,308 1,335 1,332 3,975 -31.26%  
IT Supervisor/ Manager / Programmer / Database Administrator 7,726 7,494 7,981 23,201 8,434 8,427 7,754 24,615 6.09%  
Human Resources / Training 685 520 580 1,785 581 508 537 1,626 -8.91%  
Medical Service 1,439 1,293 1,385 4,117 1,141 1,106 1,158 3,405 -17.29%  
Engineer / Surveyor / Architect / Technician 15,790 15,742 15,818 47,350 15,609 14,982 13,230 43,821 -7.45%  
Editor / Reporter 310 264 244 818 199 143 174 516 -36.92%  
Customer Service / Account Servicing 1,439 1,329 1,191 3,959 943 870 899 2,712 -31.50%  
Art / Design / Creative 3,616 3,604 3,613 10,833 3,381 3,335 3,067 9,783 -9.69%  
Advertising, Marketing 8,516 8,282 8,332 25,130 7,803 8,095 7,141 23,039 -8.32%  
Administration / Clerical / Secretarial 17,439 18,475 18,106 54,020 15,771 15,813 15,171 46,755 -13.45%  
Accounting / Finance 15,307 15,089 15,727 46,123 14,067 14,068 15,380 43,515 -5.65%  
Others 28,873 29,838 30,142 88,853 29,030 28,922 24,827 82,779 -6.84%  
Average  -13.07%  
   
  Singapore Q3 2010    Singapore Q4 2010    % change   
  Jul  Aug  Sep  Q3 Total  Oct  Nov  Dec  Q4 Total  Q4/Q3   
Retail Servicing / Sales / Business Development 17,125 17,260 16,684 51,069 17,346 14,913 14,213 46,472 -9.00%  
Property Management 524 528 534 1,586 527 444 369 1,340 -15.51%  
Operation (Product, Logistics) 7,627 7,209 6,639 21,475 6,687 5,994 5,350 18,031 -16.04%  
Merchandising / Purchasing 928 921 886 2,735 832 762 671 2,265 -17.18%  
Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister / Compliance Officer 859 838 801 2,498 757 621 610 1,988 -20.42%  
IT Supervisor/ Manager / Programmer / Database Administrator 7,233 6,986 7,149 21,368 7,369 6,338 6,085 19,792 -7.38%  
Human Resources / Training 4,566 4,743 4,590 13,899 4,604 4,151 4,200 12,955 -6.79%  
Medical Service 2,311 2,090 2,099 6,500 2,258 1,955 1,628 5,841 -10.14%  
Engineer / Surveyor / Architect / Technician 13,035 12,044 11,922 37,001 12,521 11,298 10,758 34,577 -6.55%  
Editor / Reporter 38 47 41 126 77 45 27 149 18.25%  
Customer Service / Account Servicing 1,896 2,221 1,879 5,996 2,502 1,875 1,813 6,190 3.24%  
Consultant / Analyst 373 334 326 1,033 488 323 246 1,057 2.32%  
Art / Design / Creative 1,804 1,622 1,740 5,166 1,919 1,489 1,591 4,999 -3.23%  
Advertising, Marketing 3,926 3,727 3,735 11,388 3,797 3,217 2,990 10,004 -12.15%  
Administration / Clerical / Secretarial 8,956 9,830 9,330 28,116 10,054 8,369 7,314 25,737 -8.46%  
Accounting / Finance 11,465 11,454 11,119 34,038 11,539 10,105 9,245 30,889 -9.25%  
Others 7,714 7,024 6,907 21,645 7,359 5,927 5,323 18,609 -14.03%  
Average  -7.78%  
   
   
  Japan Q3 2010    Japan Q4 2010    % change   
  Jul  Aug  Sep  Q3 Total  Oct  Nov  Dec  Q4 Total  Q4/Q3   
Retail Servicing / Sales / Business Development 55,069 46,147 40,219 141,435 42,825 41,871 52,543 137,239 -2.97%  
Property Management 46 49 38 133 64 59 46 169 27.07%  
Operation (Product, Logistics) 152 141 135 428 151 179 164 494 15.42%  
Merchandising / Purchasing 0 1 7 8 2 3 1 6 -25.00%  
Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister / Compliance Officer 109 99 107 315 118 474 567 1,159 267.94%  
IT Supervisor/ Manager / Programmer / Database Administrator 6,029 4,278 4,837 15,144 5,559 6,746 7,742 20,047 32.38%  
Human Resources / Training 130 146 167 443 160 189 193 542 22.35%  
Medical Service 100,445 94,961 89,270 284,676 97,329 100,036 155,373 352,738 23.91%  
Engineer / Surveyor / Architect / Technician 25,258 21,516 18,883 65,657 20,254 20,540 26,381 67,175 2.31%  
Editor / Reporter 47 70 61 178 76 62 50 188 5.62%  
Customer Service / Account Servicing 67 82 79 228 91 85 73 249 9.21%  
Consultant / Analyst 1,576 1,474 1,369 4,419 1,497 1,463 1,610 4,570 3.42%  
Art / Design / Creative 3,284 2,761 2,080 8,125 2,217 2,078 2,355 6,650 -18.15%  
Advertising, Marketing 1,288 1,345 1,398 4,031 1,515 1,328 1,278 4,121 2.23%  
Administration / Clerical / Secretarial 6,755 6,252 6,115 19,122 6,334 7,020 7,827 21,181 10.77%  
Accounting / Finance 3,593 3,181 4,195 10,969 4,182 3,888 4,239 12,309 12.22%  
Others 2,126 2,016 1,614 5,756 1,699 1,664 2,022 5,385 -6.45%  
Average  22.49%  
   
  Mainland China Q3 2010    Mainland China Q4 2010    % change 
  Jul  Aug  Sep  Q3 Total  Oct  Nov  Dec  Q4 Total  Q4/Q3 
Retail Servicing / Sales / Business Development 1,023,415 1,224,742 1,106,863 3,355,020 1,015,427 1,115,794 1,102,450 3,233,671 -3.62%
Property Management* 0 1 0 1 0 1 37,151 37,152 3715100.00%
Operation (Product, Logistics) 416,315 453,388 450,836 1,320,539 445,071 460,424 471,978 1,377,473 4.31%
Merchandising / Purchasing 31,414 35,732 33,476 100,622 33,698 34,739 23,637 92,074 -8.50%
Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister / Compliance Officer 8,409 9,120 8,266 25,795 8,304 8,685 8,202 25,191 -2.34%
IT Supervisor/ Manager / Programmer / Database Administrator 441,444 452,445 469,324 1,363,213 479,594 501,072 481,890 1,462,556 7.29%
Human Resources / Training 205,168 219,162 217,675 642,005 218,529 227,582 225,210 671,321 4.57%
Medical Services 24,925 29,258 27,011 81,194 27,948 26,388 24,491 78,827 -2.92%
Engineer / Surveyor / Architect / Technician 458,757 508,455 501,884 1,469,096 504,024 521,569 461,003 1,486,596 1.19%
Editor / Reporter 80,178 87,602 87,737 255,517 85,661 90,938 64,467 241,066 -5.66%
Customer Service / Account Servicing 53,480 58,986 56,753 169,219 58,191 59,173 55,836 173,200 2.35%
Consultant / Analyst 92,370 95,778 93,949 282,097 92,503 96,950 94,770 284,223 0.75%
Art / Design / Creative 57,009 61,426 58,059 176,494 57,284 57,945 56,915 172,144 -2.46%
Advertising, Marketing 362,343 354,026 376,737 1,093,106 380,276 390,964 392,771 1,164,011 6.49%
Administration / Clerical / Secretarial 85,211 96,972 96,596 278,779 95,164 93,350 87,534 276,048 -0.98%
Accounting / Finance 232,431 247,636 236,206 716,273 236,440 250,299 240,681 727,420 1.56%
Others 111,764 127,738 124,747 364,249 124,990 128,346 115,693 369,029 1.31%
Average  218535.49%
*Average (excluding Property Management)  0.21%
The number of property job advertisements was affected by the restructuring of the web site by one of the job boards   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARKET COMMENTARY

The Q4 Asia Job Index reveals consistent job advertisement levels from Q3 to Q4, concluding a year of strong growth in terms of recruitment. Although there has been a slight tail-off in Hong Kong and Singapore, this is entirely in line with expectations, due to the need to protect bonus pools and avoid added recruitment costs when approaching the end of the financial year. It may also be due in part to the significant emphasis on recruitment witnessed earlier in the year, resulting in some companies meeting or exceeding set headcount levels for the year, particularly within banking and financial services. Disappointment following trading updates by some organisations may have also dampened hiring enthusiasm in Q4.

Despite a decline across many sectors, there has been noticeable consistency within the IT services, human resources and administration sectors. This demonstrates the movement from cautious optimism to general confidence, as companies now look to provide additional support in areas which are usually scaled back during a down-turn in preparation for upbeat market conditions in 2011.

Year on year growth remains strong across the region, with mainland China continuing to display a significant capacity for growth across all sectors. Singapore and Hong Kong are key financial centres within the region and Singapore in particular has one of the strongest GDP growth figures when compared with western economies.

Mark Ellwood, Managing Director, Robert Walters Asia explains: "We saw a significant surge in recruitment levels across the region in the first half of the year, as employers began to fill those roles vacated during the financial crisis.  In the last quarter, this recruitment drive has slowed down with companies looking towards performance related payments and head count assessments for the coming financial year. Optimism is high going into 2011 and we expect to see increased movement in the market as we progress further into the year."

The number of job advertisements placed in Q4 in Hong Kong decreased by 7% compared to Q3. This was largely due to a recruitment slowdown in preparation for budgetary planning and bonus schemes, coinciding with the holiday period. Despite a downward trend across most sectors in Q4, IT services saw a 6% rise in job advertisements following increased demand for new financial trading platforms which provide greater efficiency in a competitive market. Retail services have similarly seen an increase of 2%, reflecting increased consumer confidence. Property management, which saw one of the largest decreases from Q3 to Q4, has been affected by the Hong Kong government's efforts to curb the property boom with increased stamp duty in November. Both legal services and administration also reported decreases; however both sectors still maintained significant year on year growth from 2009 to 2010 due to increased corporate activity over the past year. The IPO market in Hong Kong has also been very active, further fuelling demand.

Matthew Bennett, Managing Director at Robert Walters Hong Kong, comments: "In the last quarter recruitment levels across most sectors have slowed down in the run up to Christmas. Despite this anticipated decline, we have still seen strong year on year growth across the economy. The increase in activity levels and consumer confidence over the past year has significantly boosted the demand for support function in particular and we expect to see a recruitment revival in the next quarter as confidence in the market continues to build."

Conditions were similar in Singapore, where the level of job advertisements fell 9% in Q4. This was due in part to the demand for senior, high profile roles which are not usually advertised. Due to the time of year, there was also an expected decline in industry movement in Q4, as individuals await bonuses in the New Year before looking to change roles. Recruitment levels within the engineering sector across the quarter remained steady. Similarly, the human resources sector was broadly consistent as recovery within financial services necessitates a greater level of support.

Andrea Ross Managing Director, Robert Walters Singapore, comments: "This quarter, we have seen increased demand for senior candidates with a greater emphasis on quality over quantity. This combined, with a general reluctance to change jobs ahead of bonuses in the New Year, has resulted in a decline in job advertisements across most sectors. In 2011 we expect to see an increase in movement, as sentiment within the market continues to remain positive. This is particularly apparent in the human resources sector; where recruitment levels have remained broadly consistent in Q4. This demonstrates a sustained level of confidence in market recovery as more roles are filled to support business growth."

Hiring activity within mainland China has maintained strong momentum throughout the year, with Q4 levels remaining largely consistent with Q3. Year on year growth has been significant, with job advertisement volumes increasing by over 57% from 2009 to 2010. This is indicative of wider growth across China as a whole, with GDP levels up 10% year on year. There has been strong activity across all sectors, particularly within financial services on the back of increased foreign investment, as overseas investors seek to capitalize on the loosening of stringent government regulation. This increased activity has also benefited the support sectors, increasing demand for financial support and operational roles. Retail and manufacturing sectors have also begun to make steady recoveries on the back of increased demand for luxury goods.

Carter Yang, Managing Director of Robert Walters China, comments: "This quarter there has been maintained growth across all sectors. Increased direct foreign investment has fuelled recruitment within tier 1 cities, which has, in turn filtered down to local markets benefiting the burgeoning SME sector. We have also seen an influx of experienced professionals returning to mainland China bringing new businesses practices and boosting activity within other sectors. We expect the outlook for the next year to remain stable with continued growth across all sectors."

Although Q4 is traditionally quiet in Japan, this year job advertisements have increased a significant 13% from Q3 to Q4. This is in part due to the finalising of headcounts in preparation of year-end budgetary reviews. In particular Japan has seen a staggering increase in legal services in the past quarter. One reason for this is the increase in restructuring and M&A activity on the back of the strong Yen which requires significant levels of legal support. IT services and the human resources sector were also boosted by increased levels of corporate activity and confidence in the market. Similarly, property management saw a pronounced rise of 27% in Q4 following increasing interest from Japanese and foreign investors looking to take advantage of undervalued property. Medical services have also seen increased recruitment activity as deregulation of drug and clinical research industries has dramatically reduced the time it takes to bring drugs to market.

David Swan, Managing Director of Robert Walters Japan, comments: "In Q4 we have seen a considerable rise in recruitment advertising activity across most sectors, but particularly the financial sector as confidence continues to return. The impact of this is particularly evident when considering the significant increase in IT services, legal services and human resources, all of which directly benefit from the increased activity within financial services. We expect this optimism to continue into 2011, with recruitment levels benefiting from this increased activity and the effects of deregulation and increased foreign interest in Japanese industry."

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Robert Walters is the leading professional recruitment firm in the Asian market and currently has an office footprint covering Hong Kong, Singapore, mainland China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.

METHODOLOGY

Robert Walters specialises in recruitment at a mid-senior executive level and is able to provide commentary on key trends across this segment of the market. The Robert Walters Asia Jobs Index tracks advertisements by number in the executive appointments sections of the following:

Hong Kong  Singapore 
Classified Post  Straits Times (Daily)
Career Times (Friday Edition) www.jobstreet.com.sg 
Fuel Magazine  www.monster.com.sg 
www.careertimes.com.hk  www.jobscentral.com.sg 
www.monster.com.hk  www.jobsDB.com.sg 
www.jobmarket.com.hk  www.ST701.com.sg 
www.jobsdb.com.hk   
www.classfiedpost.com   
www.jobs.gov.hk/eng   
   
China  Japan 
www.51job.com  Asahi Shinbun (Sunday & Monday morning edition)
www.chinaHR.com  Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Sunday morning edition)
www.zhaopin.com  rikunabi-next.yahoo.co.jp 
career.ceconline.com  doda.jp 
www.jobchina.net  www.daijob.com 
  www.indivision.jp 
  www.careercross.com/en 

For further information on the Asia Job Index or to subscribe for future releases, please visit the copmany's dedicated micro-site at www.asiajobindex.com

ABOUT ASIA JOB INDEX

The Robert Walters Asia Job Index was launched in Q2 2008 with a purpose of creating a quarterly employment barometer for job markets across the region. Since its inception, the index has grown in scope and now covers mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. The Asia Job Index is highly regarded as an informative source and its reports have been covered by numerous mainstream and trade media around Asia. Many companies have also used the Asia Job index as a reference for their organisations' research and strategy reports

For more information, please visit www.asiajobindex.com

For more information please contact:

Fiona Cheong
Editorial & PR Specialist, Asia Pacific (ex Japan)
Tel: +65-6228-5313

Alfons Chan
Editorial Specialist, China
Tel: +86-21-5153-5888

Source: Robert Walters
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