HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Two-thirds of Singaporean companies will not increase head count next quarter

But banking, insurance and real estate are still hiring.

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results released by Manpower Singapore, job seekers in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate and transportation and Utilities Sectors can expect the most opportunities in the quarter ahead with Net Employment Outlooks of +34%.

“Nearly one in three employers are telling us they intend to increase their headcount in the next three months. This demand for qualified talent combined with an unemployment rate at a three-year low of 1.9%, and it is easy to see why this signals a tighter labour market and noteworthy competition in the hunt for talent,” said Peter Haglund, Country Manager of Manpower Singapore.

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +28% indicates that the third-quarter hiring pace remains active. Of the 648 employers interviewed, across seven industry sectors in Singapore, 32 percent anticipate adding to their payrolls, 3 percent predict a decrease and 59 percent expect no change Quarter-over quarter, hiring prospects decline slightly, while year-over-year, employers report a 6 percentage point improvement in the Outlook.

The Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector’s Outlook declines 2 percentage points quarter-over-quarter but improves by a moderate margin of 6 percentage points year-over-year. Hiring intentions in the Transportation & Utilities sector improve by 9 and 8 percentage points from 2Q 2011 and 3Q 2010, respectively.

“Our research points to a positive hiring landscape in Singapore for the third quarter. Employers in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector continue to report strong hiring intentions – more than four out of 10 employers in this sector tell us they will add to their workforce during the third quarter. The Outlook in Transportation & Utilities sector has continued to grow stronger with an improvement of 9 percentage points from the previous quarter,” said Peter.

“As the labour market grows tighter, it will be crucial for employers to conduct a thorough workforce analysis in anticipation of the competition they are likely to face for qualified talent, and come up with HR strategies to ensure employee retention and fulfilment,” he added.

Public Administration & Education sector employers also report robust hiring intentions, with an Outlook of +33%. In the Services sector, employers predict a healthy hiring pace, reporting an Outlook of +29%, while in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and the Manufacturing sector, solid payroll growth is forecast, with Outlooks of +26% and +25%, respectively. 

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