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Source: www.asiaecon.org |

AN OUTLOOK AT ASIA'S JOB MARKET


  Before the global economic crisis, Asia was considered an investment hot spot for investors, from outsourcing customer service to India to starting factories in China. Job opportunities were in high demand from Indian business school graduates to Chinese bilingual speakers. But as the global economy continues to spiral towards recession, Asia's job market has been deeply impacted. The UN agency, International Labour Organization (ILO), estimates that approximately 7.2 million people are expected to lose their jobs in 2009. The sectors and people that will most likely be affected are migrant workers in Asia, construction, finance and trade-related industries, such as manufacturing and shipping.  


 

Before the global economic crisis, Asia was considered an investment hot spot for investors, from outsourcing customer service to India to starting factories in China. Job opportunities were in high demand from Indian business school graduates to Chinese bilingual speakers. But as the global economy continues to spiral towards recession, Asia’s job market has been deeply impacted. The UN agency, International Labour Organization (ILO), estimates that approximately 7.2 million people are expected to lose their jobs in 2009. The sectors and people that will most likely be affected are migrant workers in Asia, construction, finance and trade-related industries, such as manufacturing and shipping.

 

The global economic crisis has also led many governments to impose tighter restrictions on foreign workers, such as the recent limitation of United States H-IB visa category for highly skilled workers. Government policies that are now limiting foreign workers impact nations such as India and China, whose students often seek job opportunities in banking institutions, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Merill Lynch & Co, JP Morgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to name a few. One institution that has commented on the impact of such government policy is the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), where many of the students earn prestigious summer internships at one of the previously mentioned banking institutions. A member of the Students’ Placement Cell at IIM stated that despite the fact that H-IB visas might be tougher to obtain, it will not be impossible. The member also stated that it is still too early to determine the complete impact of the new policy restrictions on foreign workers.

 

The tumultuous job market and global economy have also impacted China. The last couple of years has seen China become a major global financial leader. Many foreign entrepreneurs and investors seeking business and investment opportunities have flocked to China. Although it still continues to expand economically this fiscal year, development should progressively slow down. The steady decline in foreign investors has led many university degree students now seeking jobs to search elsewhere. One source recently highlighted the job situation for Chinese professional women. Up until recent times, female graduates could find job opportunities working in offices for trading companies and factories. But many companies are now downsizing and many female graduates are getting let go, leaving professional women to seek job employment elsewhere. One vocation that has seen an influx of higher-degree applicants is the domestic-help agencies. One source approximates that since August, about 90 percent of the 500 to 600 women applicants for domestic-help agencies hold a higher-education degree. These professional women are now being trained as domestic helpers and becoming nannies to foreigners or Chinese upper class who can still maintain their lifestyles.

 

China is not the only Asian market that has been affected by the economic slowdown. Besides various sectors being affected, officials state that women, newly-graduated and low-skilled migrant workers are most likely to be affected by the job market crunch. Along with the estimated figure of 7.2 million by ILO, the UN agency estimates that a total of 22.3 million people will enter the job market in Asia. ILO has also estimated that an aggregate total of 97 million Asians could be unemployed and in a worst case scenario, 113 million people could be unemployed. With these astounding figures, the UN has urged Asian governments to set goals to create job employment opportunities due to the fear of social unrest. Many Asian countries, such as China, Japan and India, have taken the initiative and have implemented financial stimulus packages. The financial stimulus packages are aimed to regulate the nation’s debt and to regulate the economy. Unless the economic slow down reverses, the job market looks bleak. From higher-educated workers to low-skilled migrant workers, all are being affected by the lack of vocational opportunities. Many unemployed workers will be forced to take on jobs wherever available, whether it is as a domestic worker or in areas that are unfamiliar to them.

 

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org

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Source: www.asiaecon.org |


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