SINGAPORE: Singapore’s annual online hiring took a 22% YoY decline in February.

The Monster Employment Index, a gauge of online hiring activity, plummeted from 138 to 108 in the same period, reflecting the downturn, according to talent platform foundit.

According to the Singapore Business Review, the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector was hardest hit, with a sharp 36% drop in hiring activity.

The IT/Telecom/ISP sector followed closely behind, with a 35% decline, and the Advertising, Market Research, Public Relations, Media, and Entertainment industries saw a 32% decrease.

Explaining the trend, the foundit pointed to economic challenges such as slowdowns, recessions, and uncertainties, which lead to reduced investments and weaker demand for services.

However, amidst the gloom, the Import/Export sector managed to make a 1% growth in hiring.

When it comes to functional areas, the legal sector stood out with positive growth, bucking the overall downward trend.

On the other hand, Software/Hardware/Telecom suffered the most, with a steep 50% decline. After that came Finance & Accounts, with a 34% decline, and Real Estate, which saw a 32% drop.

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The decline can primarily be attributed to significant advancements in technology, particularly in artificial intelligence, which has enabled the widespread adoption of automated customer service solutions,” foundit explained.

It further noted that businesses are reassessing their spending and reshaping operations to incorporate cost-saving technological solutions. /TISG

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