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Employers in Singapore Cautiously Optimistic About Hiring in Q1 2020: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

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  • Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook for Q1 2020 is +9%, a moderate increase of 5 percentage points from previous quarter

  • The strongest labor market is anticipated to be the Public Admin & Education sector while firms in the Manufacturing sector report the weakest hiring intentions

  • For the seventh consecutive quarter, the strongest Asia Pacific hiring prospects are reported in Japan.

SINGAPORE (10 DECEMBER 2019) – Hiring pace in Singapore is expected to pick up during the first three months of 2020 as employers report encouraging signs for jobseekers in the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Out of 630 employers surveyed, 13% of employers expect to increase payrolls, 5% forecast a decrease and 79% do not anticipate any change. The resulting Net Employment Outlook is +9% after adjusting for seasonal variation, a moderate increase of 5 percentage points from the previous quarter.

“While employers are cautiously optimistic in their hiring plans for the upcoming quarter, they will adjust their hiring plans in reaction to changing market conditions,” says Ms Linda Teo, ManpowerGroup Singapore Country Manager. “As such, labor market activity is expected to be volatile.”

Employers expect to increase staffing levels in all seven industry sectors during the January to March period. The strongest labor market is anticipated in the Public Administration & Education sector, with a reported Net Employment Outlook of +22%.

“More companies are investing in employee training to plug the skill gaps in their workforce,” noted Ms Teo. “Foreseeing demand for education services to continue growing, firms in the Public Administration & Education sector plan to hire to ensure they have sufficient manpower.”

Meanwhile, Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers report a healthy Outlook of +15%, strengthening by 9 percentage points from the last quarter. Standing at +12%, employers in the Mining & Construction sector report their strongest hiring Outlook in four years. Similarly, the Outlook in the Transportation & Utilities sector is +12%, the strongest in two years. The weakest Outlook of +3% is reported by Manufacturing sector employers, which improved by 3 percentage points quarter-on-quarter but declined by 11 percentage points year-on-year.

Hiring prospects improve in six of the seven sectors quarter-over-quarter, and also strengthen in five sectors when compared with last year at this time. Compared with the last quarter, the most notable increase is recorded in the Transportation & Utilities sector, which improved by 19 percentage points.

Employers all four organization size categories forecast payroll gains in the first quarter of 2020. The strongest hiring pace is expected by Large employers (+26%), while Micro employers report the weakest hiring intention with an Outlook of +2%.

Employers in all seven Asia Pacific countries and territories expect to add to headcounts in the coming quarter. Hiring outlooks strengthen in three countries and territories quarter-over-quarter, but also weaken in three. For the seventh consecutive quarter, the strongest Asia Pacific hiring prospects are reported in Japan (+25%). Meanwhile, Chinese employers report the most cautious Outlook in the region (+6%).


Net Employment Outlook: This figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.

To view complete Singapore results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, visit: www.manpowergroup.com.sg/meos

To view global survey results, visit: www.manpowergroup.com/meos

The next ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 10 March 2020 and will forecast labor market activity for the second quarter of 2020. The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries.

About ManpowerGroup Singapore

Established in 1995 in Singapore, ManpowerGroup works with a range of manufacturing, resources, mining, transport and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers and infrastructure, utilities and engineering services companies. In Singapore, the ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup® Solutions, Manpower®, Experis®, and Right Management®. More information on ManpowerGroup Singapore is available at: www.manpowergroup.com.sg

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across 80 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. In 2019, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the tenth year and one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies for the seventeenth year, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup is powering the future of work: www.manpowergroup.com