Employment outlook in Singapore, Q2 2022


Increments are expected to be the largest in the manufacturing sector, where 82% of employers report such intentions.

Pay increment and bonus sentiment appears positive for Singapore in Q2 2022, as ManpowerGroup Singapore's latest Employment Outlook Survey reveals 71% of employers surveyed signalling an intention to give 3% or more increment, and a much smaller 4% going as far as to look at salary increments of 7% or more in 2021/2022.

However, close to three in 10 (29%) employers are looking at a less than 3% increment.

With regard to which sector will see the increments happening, the largest is likely to be in the manufacturing sector, where more than four in five (82%) employers plan to give increments of 3% and more. This is followed by the wholesale & retail trade sector (77%), the IT, technology, telecoms, communications & media sector (77%), and the construction sector (73%).

Interestingly, salary increments appear to have no bearing on bonuses, as more than four in five (81%) employers intend to give bonuses of one month and more to employees. Employers in the banking, finance, insurance & real estate sector can expect to receive the most generous bonus - with close to half (43%) planning to award more than 1 month up to 1.5 months bonus. The same could be said of those in the education, health, social work & government sector (37%), and the IT, technology, telecoms, communications & media sector (36%).

Meanwhile, employees in the construction sector may see a one-month bonus (64%) - which is similar to those in the wholesale & retail trade sector (59%), and sectors classified as "other industries" (57%).

This survey covered responses from more than 500 Singapore employers, and all data discussed is seasonally adjusted. However, it is noteworthy that the survey was conducted between 1 January and 7 February, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hiring and employment outlook for Singapore Q1 2022

Among the employers surveyed in Singapore, more than two in five (42%) expect to increase their headcount; with less than one in five (17%) forecasting a decrease, and close to two in five (39%) not anticipating any change.

This, per the report, resulted in a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook (NEO) of +25% – which is dubbed as the strongest outlook reported since Q4 2011. It was revealed that hiring prospects increased by 11 percentage points (pp) quarter-on-quarter, and 8pp year-on-year.

On the results, Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, explained: "As Singapore moves closer to its goal of living with COVID-19, employers are more confident about business prospects moving forward. Coupled with the past year’s strong GDP growth, employers in most industries sectors are planning to ramp up their hiring to meet demands, contributing towards the economic recovery."

Who is hiring, who isn't?

The analysts behind the report shared that employers in 10 of 11 sectors forecast positive hiring outlooks in the second quarter of 2022, and they are mainly in:

  • The IT, technology, telecoms, communications & media sector - which reported an NEO of +38%, growing by 12pp from the previous quarter.
  • The banking, finance, insurance & real estate sector, and the manufacturing sector - which reported an NEO of +26%.
  • The construction, and the other services sectors which respectively has an NEO of +24%, and +22%

Other sectors with a positive job prospects are the education, health, social work & government sector with an NEO of +19%, and the primary production sector with an NEO of +10%. That said, employment is expected to be "the slowest" in the restaurants & hotels sector with an NEO of -3%, weakening by 19pp from Q1 2022.

"Hiring sentiments in the IT, technology, telecoms, communications & media sector continue to be bolstered by the strong demand for IT services and digital solutions. Meanwhile, talent shortages, increased Omicron infection numbers, and rising operation costs have clouded business outlooks in the restaurants & hotels sector, forcing employers to recalibrate their manpower strategy," Teo shared.

Global employment sentiment: 10 data points to know

While the results above are indicative of Singapore, the report did cover a wider global analysis, with the findings that:

  1. Employers from Brazil (+40%), Sweden (+38%), India (+38%) and Mexico (+38%) report the strongest hiring climate.

  2. While outlooks improve year-over-year in 36 countries, hiring sentiment weakens compared with Q1 2022 in Taiwan, Greece, Romania and Poland. 

  3. With strong outlooks across the regions, employers in North America (+38%) reported the most positive outlook followed by South and Central America (+35%), APAC (+28%) and EMEA (+22%).

  4. The strongest year-over-year improvements are reported in South Africa (+40%), Panama (+36%), and Peru (+36%).

  5. The strongest quarter-over-quarter improvements are reported in Singapore (+11%),South Africa (+9%), and Sweden (+4%).

  6. Employers in Sweden report the strongest outlook of 31% in the EMEA region, up 4% since last quarter with strongest expectations in Mellansverige and most optimistic outlooks in the not for profit sector.

  7. Organisations in France report an outlook of 23%, down 3% QoQ, with the most optimistic hiring intentions in IT & tech.

  8. US employers anticipate strong spring hiring (+35%), especially in the IT, tech and media industry (51%) and in the Western Region (42%).

  9. In APAC, the strongest hiring prospects are reported in India (+38%), followed by Australia (+28%) and China (+28%).

  10. The weakest regional labour market is expected in Japan (+6%), with Taiwan (+7%) and Hong Kong (+9%) close behind - in the APAC region. 

ICYMISingapore's labour market in 2021: Retrenchments declined, employment rose, unemployment rates dropped

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