Hiring to increase steadily in Hong Kong and Singapore over next few months

Author: PM editorial | Date: 15 Jun 2016

Global outlook mostly positive but still below pre-recession levels, says ManpowerGroup survey

Hiring is expected to increase throughout Asia over the next few months, according to the ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2016.

All 59,000 participants in the global survey were asked: ‘How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of September 2016 as compared to the current quarter?’ Most employers said they planned to increase hiring over the next three months – but at a slightly slower pace than in recent quarters.

"Stronger employer hiring intentions in most regions is certainly cause for optimism, though global growth is still below pre-recession levels,” said Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, in an assessment of the report.

In Singapore, organisations have moderate hiring plans for the quarter, with 11 per cent expecting to increase staffing levels, just one per cent anticipating a decrease, and 78 per cent forecasting no change. This results in a ‘net employment outlook’ of nine per cent (adjusted for seasonal variation) and is the weakest reported since 2009.

Hong Kong’s net employment outlook is a slightly stronger 12 per cent – but still the weakest since Q2 2013.

India (35 per cent), Japan (22 per cent) and Taiwan (17 per cent) report the strongest hiring intentions overall; economically troubled Brazil is the only country in the survey with a negative forecast at minus 15 per cent.

Singapore’s strongest sector in the survey is ‘finance, insurance and real estate’, where employers reported a net employment outlook of 16 per cent. Weakest is the wholesale and retail trade sector at three per cent. Hong Kong’s strongest sector is the service industry (19 per cent) and its weakest was manufacturing (five per cent).

Although the report suggests a generally positive outlook, there is some uncertainty among employers. More than half responded with ‘don’t know’ in regard to their third-quarter plans. China’s hiring plans have weakened in all industry sectors and all regions in both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year comparisons.

Last week, a report by Robert Walters found that advertising for HR jobs in the Hong Kong grew by 48 per cent in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015.