With a labor force of more than 9 million, Cambodia follows an open market economic structure and is a prime area of interest for foreign investors. After the decline in GDP as the COVID crisis hit the world economy, Cambodia expects to recover in the upcoming years as demands for Cambodian exports increase.
The primary industries in Cambodia can be considered to be textiles and tourism, while the prime source of income is agriculture. The service sectors have high concentrations of catering, trading, and travel-related services. The government and GMAC aim to create more skilled textile workers to fill up the talent gaps and boost the garment industry.
Overview of Cambodia
Population- Estimated 17 million
GDP- 24.57 billion USD in 2018
Economic Overview- With an average growth rate of 7.7% between the years 1998 and 2019, Cambodia has the fastest growing economy in the world, and it aspires to attain the upper-middle-income status by 2030. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a negative growth of -3.1% in Cambodia’s economy, the lowest in its recent past. The government forecasts a growth of 4.0% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022 as the demands for Cambodia’s exports increase.
Market Size- The 4.0% estimated growth in Cambodia’s economy as a part of the post-COVID recovery is promising for the country’s job market. Cambodia has an employment rate of around 81.1% (2016 stats), and there’s high underemployment as per the official statistics.
Brief Glimpse into Industries
- The garment and textiles industry constitutes a major portion of Cambodia’s manufacturing sector and accounts for 80% of the country’s exports. The Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia aims to establish a specialized training institute for garment workers. It aims at training 1,600 workers within the first three years and 240 university students every year.
- Cambodia is a majorly agrarian country with agriculture employing approximately 80% of the nation’s workforce. Cambodia is known for producing some of the best rice varieties in the world.
- The rich cultural heritage of Cambodia makes it a popular tourist destination in Asia. According to the 2006 reports, the tourism industry contributed to 16% of Cambodia’s GDP and provided 13.7% of the total employment.
- The livestock and fishing industries also contribute significantly to Cambodia’s economic growth.
- Cambodia has an open economic policy attracting large amounts of foreign investments primarily to the textile sectors. The garment industry, therefore, consists of very small local ownership.
Internet Speed- 5430.40 KBps (highest in 2017)
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Cambodia is relatively cheaper as compared to most Asian countries. On average, approximately 800 to 1,000 USD is enough for a single person, which roughly amounts to 3,300,000 - 4,100,000 KHR (Cambodian Riel). However, the cost of living depends on the city of residence and the utilities used by a person alongside the housing rents of the area.
Breakdown of Average Cost of Living in Cambodia
Cost of Living According to Location
The cost of living in Cambodia depends on the city/ town alongside the distance from the city center. The country’s capital Phnom Penh is the most populous and the most expensive city in Cambodia.
Approximate Cost of Living in Major Cities
Cost of Renting in Cambodia
The cost of renting depends on the size of the apartment or villa and its location in the city. Monthly rents in Cambodia are quite low compared to other Asian and European nations, but the quality of life is great. Hence, a lot of young foreign professionals choose Cambodia as their permanent home.
Approximate Costs of Renting According to Location
Approximate Housing Rent in Major Cities
Top Sectors Expected to Hire in Cambodia in 2021
The following sectors are expected to have maximum hires after the COVID-19 pandemic had slowed down employment in Cambodia
- Export of textiles, apparel, and footwear
- Travel and Tourism
- Agriculture and Food Sectors
- Building and Construction
- Mining and Exploration of Natural Reserves
- Banking and Finances
- Trade and Commerce
- Other Services
Top Skills in Cambodia
Cambodia has a dynamic job market, and post the COVID crisis, recovery of the economy is expected to create enough job opportunities to accommodate the working-age population. The primary skills in Cambodia are in the following industries:
- Garment and Textile Industry
- Livestock rearing and upkeeping
- Building and Construction
- Natural Resources and Mineral Industries (oil seeps and natural gas deposits)
- Gambling Industry (limited permission for casinos and lotteries)
Top Skills (City- wise and Occupation- wise)
Phnom Penh, the economic, political, and cultural center of Cambodia, has multiple commercial interests that include
- Garment and textile
- Property and real estate (the real estate prices have been increasing rapidly in the city)
- The Tourism sector is being boosted by -
- Setting up new hotels, restaurants, bars, etc.
- Opening of commercial and shopping centers.
- Construction of high-rise buildings around waterways, residential complexes, canals, railway systems, newer roads, etc.
Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. About 50% of the job prospects in Siem Reap are related to the tourism industry.
The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone facilitates overseas trade and economic cooperation. The city’s primary job prospects lie in the trading, tourism, port expansion, and sectors related to industrial growth.
With the economy heavily dependent on produce from agriculture and livestock, the rural population is primarily engaged with these trades.
Cost of Hiring
Hiring Cost- An average employee of Cambodia is paid around 19,100 KHR or 5 USD per hour. The low salaries justify the lower cost of living in Cambodia and attract a large number of foreign employers. In addition to the salaries, the cost for training, onboarding, creation of entities, and the entire process of selection, interviewing, and hiring would add to the total cost of hiring.
Salary Structure for Various Roles
The average salary of a Cambodian employee lies between 1.2 million KHR and 4.0 million KHR (286 USD – 970 USD). The salaries may exceed 1000 USD/ month for highly skilled employees whereas, for unskilled employees, wages are well below 286 USD. The talent shortage created by the lack of skilled workers has created a huge salary gap in Cambodia, with no fixed earnings for people directly linked with agriculture and livestock produce.
Occupation-wise Approximate Salary in Cambodia
Employment Laws in Cambodia
- Cambodian employees are expected to work for not more than 8 hours per day and 48 hours every week.
- Under emergency circumstances, overtime of a maximum of 2 hours is permitted to the employer.
- Workers are granted 24 consecutive hours of rest every week and if this disrupts the employer's business, then rest to the workers can be provided on a rotational basis.
- Every citizen in Cambodia is entitled to equal pay for an equal amount of work done irrespective of gender, ethnicity, age, caste, etc.
- Cambodia’s monthly minimum wage for regular workers in the textile, footwear, and garment industries is fixed at 192 USD and 187 USD per month for probationary workers.
- Cambodian employees can be hired based on a well-documented fixed contract that would not extend beyond two years or an indefinite contract that can be both oral and written.
Conclusion: How Can Skuad Help You With Hiring in Cambodia?
Hiring in Cambodia requires understanding and compliance with the local laws and taxation system and having a local presence. Skuad removes the headache of finding talents, processing selection, onboarding, dealing with the taxation, etc. Connect with the Skuad to learn more.