Hiring intentions slower in Asia Pacific than a year ago

Author: PM editorial | Date: 21 Sep 2016

Manpower Group survey finds employment outlook for Q4 2016 is positive but modest

Hiring intentions across southeast Asia are positive overall but slower than a year ago, according to Manpower Group’s Q4 2016 Global Employment Outlook.
The survey asked thousands of employers around the world whether they expect staff numbers to increase, decrease or stay the same in the next quarter, and then calculated a ‘net employment outlook’.
Taiwan came third globally on the list, with strong net employment outlook (NEO) of 21 per cent, just behind India and Japan in first and second respectively. In Hong Kong, the NEO was 13 per cent and in Singapore it was seven per cent.
“Employers in India and Japan continue to report the strongest hiring plans for the fourth quarter, said the report. “In India, more than three out of 10 employers indicate they will add to their payrolls in Q4 2016. Similarly in Japan, an active hiring pace is forecast in most industry sectors, especially in mining and construction, which may be owing to the ongoing preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“Taiwanese employers anticipate an active hiring pace through the last three months of the year. The manufacturing sector’s net employment outlook of 26 per cent is the strongest reported, with more than three of every 10 employers interviewed saying they expect to add to their workforces in the next three months. Employers in the finance, insurance and real estate, and retail sectors expect similarly active job growth.”
On first inspection, the figures seem positive but compared to the same period a year ago there is a hiring slowdown in half of the Asia Pacific countries surveyed.
Singapore’s quarterly employment outlook has been on a steady decline since early 2015, although Taiwan’s has been has seen improvement for the last four quarters.
“Employer hiring sentiment in Singapore dipped for the seventh consecutive quarter to its weakest level since Q3 2009,” said the report. “The forecast remains upbeat in the finance, insurance and real estate sector, but employers in mining and construction report their first negative outlook since 2009.”
Hiring may be slowing in Singapore but the Global Innovation Index recently declared the city-state to be the most innovative country in Asia Pacific because of its business sophistication and the stability of its political institutions.