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Job cuts, expatriate crunch in Asia on oil rout: Recruiter

An extended rout in oil prices is forcing energy companies to scale back on jobs and send expatriates home, London-based recruiter Robert Walters found in its annual salary survey.

According to the study, the slump in oil, alongside a drop in commodities prices more generally, has hurt a broad range of workers, from those in Indonesian refining businesses to those at Australian energy producers.

In Indonesia, recruitment in the commodities sector was "tough" in 2015 as global raw material prices dropped dramatically. The country is a large producer of various commodities including crude oil, metals and palm oil.

"This had a detrimental knock-on effect on companies serving these industries, and caused many expatriate professionals to leave Indonesia," the report noted.

An overall shortage of skilled workers in Indonesia however, means that professionals outside the oil and gas sector are sought after, particularly in the financial services sector.

"Conditions are likely to improve in 2016 as government investment, foreign investment and corporate activity will continue to increase in all areas outside oil and gas."

Meanwhile, neighboring Singapore will also see a relatively positive employment landscape over 2016 but the oil and gas industry will likely experience a fall in recruitment due to the slump in crude oil prices and a corresponding drop in business activity, said Robert Walters.

Due to falling employment levels in the energy sector, salary increases will also be moderate at 10 to 12 percent in the city-state, which is also a major physical oil trading hub.


Australiahas also been hit as few major new projects came up in the major resource producing region of Western Australia.

"The main operators in the oil and gas sector reacted swiftly to low oil prices by cutting costs, meaning that redundancies were common."

There is just perhaps one bright spot in the energy sector – the emerging solar sector in Japanwhich is competing for talent across the full range of organization roles—and that's a trend that's set to gather pace as the industry grows, Robert Walters said.

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