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ASIA Pacific’s employment relatively steady in Q2

On the heels of a robust start, quarter-on-quarter figures across the Asia Pacific region for permanent and contract jobs, as well as professionals seeking new roles, were down in the second quarter, according to a latest report by Morgan McKinley.

While professionals seeking new roles dropped from 61,864 in the first quarter of this year to 39,890 in the second quarter, year-on-year figures showed an increase of 23 percent, from 32,499 to 39,890.

Year-on-year permanent jobs remained steady, with a minor decline of 3 percent, from 16,052 to 15,610. Quarter-on-quarter contract positions were down 30 percent, year-on-year down 13 percent.

“The most popular areas for hiring across the Asia Pacific reagion are private wealth management and private banking while investment banking hiring is stalled.” said Richie Holliday, Chief Operations Officer of Morgan McKinley Asia Pacific.

“The cyclical nature of the numbers is hiding the underlying story that financial institutions are scurrying to ramp up their fintech efforts,” Holliday said.

Singapore and Japan have become the most “hotbed for fintech” with a “fintech bridge” launched between Singapore and the UK in April and the large increase in hiring in Tokyo attributed to the escalating demand for fintech.

“Everyone in the industry is aware of the power of digital and data, and the Asian market, where customers’ number one choice is Internet 4.0 services, this sector will only grow,” said Holliday.

While Hong Kong’s economic growth hit a four-year low, the Chinese mainland has led the regional growth, whose outbound M&A deals exceeded their 2015 total by the end of the second quarter of 2016.

With an eye to maintaining long-term global competitiveness, the government has launched an effort to recruit top international professionals and ease visa restrictions for qualified candidates, according to the report.

Overall, markets are faring well and continued hiring growth is expected in fintech and wealth management for both full-time and contract professionals.

Nevertheless, uncertainties remain and their impact is expected to be seen in the third quarter’s employment figures. The swift resolution of political questions in both the UK and Australia, in particular, is necessary for market resilience, as investors and institutions are waiting to see what are the regulatory implications for their work.


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