FINANCIAL SERVICES, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Finance sector expects weaker job gains in Q2

It was one of the two sectors that have weaker hiring prospects in the upcoming quarter.

Employers in Singapore’s finance, insurance, & real estate sector expect that they will hire fewer people in Q2 2019 as their outlook rating has decreased 2ppt to +7%, the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey revealed.

Overall, hiring intentions strengthened in five of the seven industry sectors when compared with the previous quarter, most notably the services sector, which improve by 7ppt. Hiring prospects declined 4ppt in the manufacturing sector.

According to the survey, hiring activity in Singapore is expected to remain modest for Q2 2019, with employers in Singapore reporting a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +11%.

Amongst 680 employers surveyed, 15% said they expect to raise staffing levels, 4% anticipate a decrease, whilst 80% do not expect a change. Hiring plans remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter and are unchanged in comparison with Q2 2018.

The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.

Meanwhile, employers in all seven industry sectors plan to hire new staff over the next three months. The strongest labour market activity is reported by employers in the services sector, which hits a three-year high with an expected hiring outlook of +18%.

Employers in the public administration & education sector also foresee steady payroll gains, reporting an outlook of +16%. Outlooks of +11% and +10% are reported for the mining & construction sector and the manufacturing sector, respectively. Outlooks stand at +8% in both the transportation & utilities sector and the wholesale & retail trade sector, whilst the weakest outlook of +7% is reported by finance, insurance & real estate sector employers.

Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, attributes the upbeat hiring outlook in the services sector to the growing needs for digital services. “Optimistic about business prospects, companies specialising in digitisation software and other digital services are hiring more actively than ever to secure talents specialising in software development and e-commerce.”

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