Hiring activity in Singapore is expected to remain modest in Q2 2019, with employers reporting a seasonally-adjusted net employment outlook of +11%.
This was revealed in the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for Q2 2019, whereby 687 employers were asked: "How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of June 2019 as compared to the current quarter?"
Of these respondents, 15% expect to increase their number of staff while 4% plan to decrease headcount. At the same time, 80% do not anticipate any changes to headcount, while 1% are unsure.
To calculate the net employment outlook of +11% above, the percentage of employers expecting an increase was first taken, from which the percentage of those anticipating a decrease was subtracted.
When broken down into seven industry sectors, all seven expect to add payrolls in the next three months, despite the overall modest hiring outlook.
The results per sector are as follows, in order of strongest to weakest net employment outlook:
- Reporting the strongest hiring plans, the services sector has a net employment outlook of +18%. This sector also saw the most notable improvement of 7 percentage points, in terms of hiring intentions.
- At the same time, employers in the public administration & education sector also anticipate steady rise in headcount, with a net employment outlook of +16%. A five percentage-point improvement was seen in this sector.
- As for the mining & construction sector, a moderate rise in headcount is anticipated, with a net employment outlook of +11%, while it stands at +10% for the manufacturing sector.
- Within these two sectors, the former saw a four percentage-point increase in hiring intentions while on the other hand, the latter saw a 4 percentage-point decline in hiring prospects.
- Lastly, the transportation & utilities sector and wholesale and retail trade sector both report an outlook of +8% and and improvements of four percentage points, while the finance, insurance and real estate sector reports the weakest outlook with +7% and a decline 2 percentage-point decline in hiring intentions.
Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, comments on the upbeat hiring outlook for the services sector specifically: "Optimistic about business prospects, companies specialising in digitisation software and other digital services are hiring more actively than ever to secure talent specialising in software development and e-commerce."
However, she cautioned that 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 their workflow.
Over in Hong Kong, employers report the strongest hiring intentions in seven years for Q2 2019, with active labour markets expected in the mining & construction and services sectors.
See how Singapore fared against other countries globally
Lead photo / infographics: ManpowerGroup