Sreejith’s APAC 2024 labor market insights

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Article by Sreejith Pilassery
Feb 21, 2024
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Near the end of last year, momentum towards a soft landing was commonly discussed. This was due to the marginally improving job market and cooling of inflation in many large markets across the world. 

Now that we are 6 weeks into 2024, from an APAC economic perspective, it’s expected that the majority of our markets will stay above the water. India specifically is the bright spot, with IMF projecting over 6.5% of GDP growth, and the central bank (RBI) projecting phenomenal growth, close to 7%. Australia will grow marginally by 1.5% and is now the 6th largest staffing market in the region (2nd largest in APAC). Malaysia is advancing their efforts to becoming one of the largest ICT/data center hubs in the region with over 25% of its economy coming from the ICT sector. 

Based on these labor market findings, here are 4 distinct takeaways and trends for 2024:

Increased focus on DEI

DEI is a major area of focus for companies in the APAC region. While India’s working age population is the highest, the female labor participation is the lowest in the middle-income countries (21% compared to a 45% average). To better support women in India, Horizontal India launched WE Code: A unique program to get women in tech back in the workforce, after a prolonged leave of absence. 

Want to learn more about our WE Code initiative? Let’s chat about our 10-day program and why you should hire a program attendee today.

Increase in automation & talent platforms

Given the challenging market, there is an increase in the usage of talent automation platforms across APAC. A new report from SIA stated that VMS systems, background checks and engagement platforms grew 3% in 2023. This trend is likely to continue as companies pivot towards efficiency and automation.

The buzzword – AI

AI is advancing at a rapid pace and tangibly changing economic productivity. In a recent interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about the changing dynamics and the short to long term impact on the labor market. 

Labor markets are dynamic, and the job cuts we are seeing today are adjustments. The evolution is taking things from information on your fingertips to expertise on your fingertips -- and the result is predicted to be an increase in AI jobs in the long run, as well as better wage support.

Jobs are rising, albeit slowly

As per the latest labor market update from LinkedIn, 85% of APAC companies are looking to grow their workforce, with an emphasis on skill set growth. The trend is identical for all major markets in APAC – India, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. 

Looking to grow your workforce? Learn more about APAC hiring with Horizontal Talent

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