ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

Singapore Job Seekers Can Expect a Favorable Hiring Climate for Q2 2019: Latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

  • Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook is +11% for Q2 2019, with employers in the Services sector reporting strongest hiring outlook in over 3 years

  • The weakest sector Outlook of +7% is reported in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, declining by 2 percentage points from last quarter.

  • Japanese employers report the strongest hiring plans in the region for the fourth consecutive quarter, while the weakest Outlook is reported in China.

Hiring activity in Singapore is expected to remain modest for Q2 2019, with employers in Singapore reporting a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +11%, reveals the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Over 680 employers were surveyed, with 15% of employers expecting to increase staffing levels, 4% anticipating a decrease and 80% expecting no change. Hiring plans remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter and are unchanged in comparison with Q2 2018.

The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.

Employers in all seven industry sectors plan to hire new staff over the next three months. The strongest labor market activity is reported by employers in the Services sector, which hits a three-year high with an expected hiring outlook of +18%.

Ms Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, attributes the upbeat hiring outlook in the Services sector to the growing needs for digital services. “With more companies turning to technology to meet consumer demands and enhance productivity, demand for digital services is growing. Optimistic about business prospects, companies specializing in digitization software and other digital services are hiring more actively than ever to secure talents specializing in software development and e-commerce.”

“However, with the recent Budget 2019 announcement plans to cut the Dependency Ratio Ceiling for firms in the services sector, employers in the services and retail sectors need to rethink their business strategies, such as incorporating new technology to automate and streamline their workflow,” continues Ms Teo. “To ensure businesses remain sustainable, there is also a need for a paradigm shift in how service is delivered without compromising the consumer experience. Employers need to redesign service roles that address locals’ mindset that service roles have little career prospects with unrewarding working hours and pay to attract and retain more local talents in the long run,” advises Ms Teo

Elsewhere, employers in the Public Administration & Education sector also foresee steady payroll gains, reporting an Outlook of +16%. Outlooks of +11% and +10% are reported for the Mining & Construction sector and the Manufacturing sector, respectively. Outlooks stand at +8% in both the Transportation & Utilities sector and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector, while the weakest Outlook of +7% is reported by Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers.

​Hiring intentions strengthen in five of the seven industry sectors when compared with the previous quarter, most notably the Services sector, which improve by 7 percentage points. However, hiring prospects decline by 4 and 2 percentage points in the Manufacturing sector and the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, respectively.

In Asia Pacific, payroll gains are expected to a varying extent in all eight countries and territories during the next three months. Japanese employers report the strongest hiring plans in the region for the fourth consecutive quarter, while the weakest Outlook is reported in China. Employers in two countries and territories report stronger hiring intentions when compared with the previous quarter, but Outlooks decline in four.

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