Despite a noticeable increase in the number of factory registrations during the first nine months of the year, new job creation has declined, according to the latest government data.
Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft released yesterday showed that 149 factories registered during the nine-month period ending September 30. The total represents a 21 per cent increase on the same period last year.
But while it would seem that more factories means more jobs, new job-creation figures released by the ministry at the same time show a decline of about 18 per cent between January and September.
Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh said the new factories were largely expansions of existing operations in Cambodia.
“They [factory owners], don’t want to put all their eggs in the same basket,” he said. “Some factories, when they grow bigger, don’t want to have all their investment in one place. So they divide their operations into smaller factories.”
The government’s report explained that the decreasing number of new jobs was due to those new, smaller factories consolidating their workforce and moving into less labour-intensive operations such as food processing and product assembly.
Cheat Khemera, senior officer of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said that his association receives about five new factory registrations per month.
“There are still new factories coming to invest, but at the same time some factories are also leaving,” he said.