Australian jobs growth flat, bolstered by Asia

by Iain Hopkins24 Nov 2011

Australian jobs growth is currently sitting at -1%, but the Asia-Pacific region as a whole has experienced jobs growth of 23%, according to the latest index of finance sector jobs.

The eFinancialCareers Quarterly Jobs Barometer was released yesterday, and George McFerran, eFinancialCareers head of Asia Pacific said he expected demand to dwindle until the end of the year.

“Certainly, multinationals have an impact on every region and some fi­rms have already met their hiring needs for the year, while others have decided to hold off adding to headcount until 2012,” McFerran said.

Speaking to HC, McFerran said that going into 2012, financial services companies will be hiring in the first half of next year, but certainly not at the same level as has been previously seen.

“Asia-Pacific is still an engine of growth, so we can expect the employment market to hold up despite the current global economic market uncertainty,” he added.

The sectors with the strongest growth throughout Q3 in 2011 were sales and marketing and risk management, and both showed an increase of 34%. Revenue generating positions were said to be always in demand, and eFinancialCareers commented that  the number of new job opportunities in this sector reflected this, and actually doubled year on year.

Risk management is another growth area, especially with firms operating within a global and regional regulatory framework that is constantly evolving. Year-on-year, jobs in this sector have increased by 48%.

On the other side of the coin, the strongest declines were seen in private banking / wealth management (down 22%), insurance (down 10%), and retail banking (down 8%), compared to the previous quarter.

eFinancialCareers said the drop in wealth management jobs was surprising considering both global and regional players have regularly reaffirmed their commitment to hire and grow in their Asian teams.

However, some private banks – especially the smaller or niche firms – are struggling to stay profitable amid stiff competition and rising costs, which could mean they are not actively looking to increase the number of jobs, the report detailed.

Additionally, the obligation to pay guaranteed bonuses has been cited as adding to budgetary strains.

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