Singapore employers' hiring outlook strongest in over two years

Employers from six of the seven surveyed industry sectors anticipate an increase in staffing levels.

Things are finally looking up for job seekers as more employers reveal their plans to increase headcount in the fourth quarter in ManpowerGroup’s latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Out of some 700 employers surveyed, 16% expect to increase their staffing levels over the next three months, 5% forecast a decrease and 74% anticipated no change.

The resulting net employment outlook is +11% after seasonal variations have been taken into account. This is the strongest outlook in over two years, improving by 7 and 4 percentage points from 3Q 2017 and 4Q 2016, respectively.

“The rise in net employment outlook might be attributed to employer confidence bolstered by Singapore’s recent economic growth, which grew by 2.7% in the first half of 2017,” said Miss Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore.

“Although there’s a renewed confidence amongst employers, many remain wary and are adopting the wait-and-see mentality amidst worries that trade numbers could weaken and domestic demand may stall despite the potential pickup in trade,” she added.

Staffing levels are forecast to climb in six of the seven industry sectors during the last quarter of 2017.

The public administration and education sector remains the strongest, with employers reporting a solid outlook of +22%, which is 20 percentage points stronger than last quarter, and 15 percentage points more when compared with the final quarter of 2016.

Employers in the services sector and the transportation and utilities sector forecast a steady increase in staffing levels, with outlooks of +18% and +17%, respectively, their strongest forecast in over two years.

“The stronger hiring outlook in the services sector reflects the expected surge in demand for IT specialists, especially those dealing with Cyber Operations and Cyber Security as more companies go digital,” commented Ms Teo, in response to the upbeat forecast in the Services sector, adding that Singapore’s Smart Nation project is also expected to drive demand for data scientists and software engineers.

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