In the latest Employment Outlook Survey by ManpowerGroup, it was revealed that out of the 632 Singaporean employers surveyed, only 8% expect to increase their hiring plans in the third quarter of this year (Q3 2017) while 4% predict a decrease in headcount. This puts the net employment outlook for Singapore at +4%, the least optimistic forecast reported by local employers since 2009.

hiring and firing


Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore said: “Employers are remaining cautious despite the positive economic forecasts and this abundance of caution is evidently prompting many of the employers we survey to scale back their hiring plans.” She added that loss of jobs is inevitable in a maturing and transitioning economy. “Yet, there are other jobs being created as well. Workers will have to adapt to the ever-changing world of work, and remain relevant by upskilling and reskilling,” Teo noted.

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Overall, among seven industries, employers from the mining and construction sector report the strongest hiring intentions with a seasonally adjusted outlook of +7%, while employers in two sectors report the most cautious outlooks of +2% – the manufacturing sector, and the public administration and education sector.


seasonally adjusted outlook

Zooming into the Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong reports one of the highest hiring prospects, with a seasonally adjusted outlook of +15%. Meanwhile, joining the weakest forecasts in the region with Singapore is China, with an outlook of +4%.

Seasonally adjusted employment outlook Q3 2017

  • Hong Kong: +15%
  • China: +4%
  • Singapore: +4%

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Lead image/ ManpowerGroup Infographics/ ManpowerGroup