Bosses to slow pace of hiring in next 3 months

Bosses to slow pace of hiring in next 3 months


Survey shows big drop in employment outlook from Q2




(SINGAPORE) Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Sunday that Singapore is not heading for a recession. But a new poll shows caution is setting in, as employers plan to slow the pace of hiring in the next three months.


‘When it comes to hiring, employers in Singapore are still in the fast lane. But they are easing off the accelerator, ‘ said CK Rosa, country manager of Manpower Singapore, a unit of US-based employment services agency Manpower, which carried out the poll.


While Mr Tharman gave the assurance of ‘no recession’, he warned that Singaporeans are in for a bumpy ride because of the surge in prices of fuel, food and other necessities.


The minister could have added that jobs – plentiful in the past year of record employment – also may not be so easy to come by in the months ahead.


And this is likely to be the case even though Singapore is tipped to be among countries offering the best job prospects at a time when employment in many countries is falling.


The less rosy outlook for the local job market is painted in the latest Manpower poll, which shows the net employment outlook in the third quarter for a sample of 713 employers in Singapore plunged 25 percentage points to 37 per cent from the previous quarter.


The poll results were released yesterday.


‘Net employment outlook’ is the difference between the percentage of bosses polled who intend to increase hiring and the percentage who plan to cut jobs.


Seasonally adjusted, the decline in the Q3 net employment outlook is not so great – but it’s still a substantial drop of 12 percentage points. And compared with a year ago, the Q3 job outlook is 13 percentage points lower.


‘Singapore employers are anticipating a continued hiring pace in the quarter ahead, but expect to add employees at a slower pace from both three months ago and last year at this time,’ Manpower said in a statement.


All seven sectors polled showed a positive net employment outlook, especially public administration and education (+57 per cent); services (+45 per cent); finance, insurance and real estate (+45 per cent); manufacturing (+46 per cent) and transport & utilities (+47 per cent).


While still positive, the Q3 employment outlook for six of the seven sectors fell sharply from the previous quarter. Only employers in the manufacturing sector revealed no change in recruitment plans.


Year-on-year, the outlook weakened in all sectors except transport and utilities (up 3 percentage points).


The steepest declines from Q2 were posted by the wholesale trade & retail sector (down 37 points) and mining & construction (down 30 points).


Compared with Manpower polls in 31 other countries, employers in Singapore – along with those in Peru, Poland, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India and Romania – were the most upbeat about hiring in Q3. Employers in Spain, Italy and Ireland were the most pessimistic.


Within the Asia-Pacific region, hiring plans in China and New Zealand were the least upbeat.


Source: Business Times

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