Hiring intentions weakest since 2009

by Miklos Bolza09 Mar 2016
Hiring intentions for the next three months will be at their lowest since quarter three in 2009, according to the Q2 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS). This follows a steady decline which has occurred over the past five consecutive quarters.
For the next three months, only 14% of employers expect to increase their staff numbers while 4% predict a decrease in headcount.
This puts the net employment outlook* at +10% which is four percentage points weaker than it was a year ago.
Surveying 693 Singaporean employers, the MEOS also found that 76% of employers plan on sustaining the same staff numbers over the next three months while 6% are unsure of what will happen.
“The dimmer hiring outlook is not surprising amid a sluggish economic environment,” Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, said.
“It’s a bearish sentiment we’re seeing as local employers face internal pressures of high operational costs, and business nerves continue to be frayed over China’s slowdown, which impacts trade-dependent economies like ours.”
Per sector, the net employment outlook (NEO) remains positive. Overall however, hiring intentions have mostly weakened both when compared to quarter one this year and quarter two in 2015.
Industry NEO Q2 2016 NEO Q1 2016 NEO Q2 2015
Finance, insurance & real estate +12% +16% +20%
Mining & construction +12% +13% +15%
Services +12% +12% +19%
Public administration & education +9% +21% +15%
Transportation & utilities +9% +13% +15%
Wholesale trade & retail trade +6% +5% +14%
Manufacturing +5% +8% +7%
Across the Asia-Pacific region, hiring outlooks in seven out of eight countries weakened when compared to last quarter. Hong Kong was the only exception to this with no change.
India came out on top of the charts with a net outlook of +38% while Australia performed the worst in the Asia-Pacific, scoring a net outlook of +4%.
*Net employment outlook is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers decreasing their headcounts from the percentage of those increasing their headcounts.
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