11 September 2015

ManpowerGroup forecasts hiring demand upturn in Q415 for Singapore

Job seekers in Singapore can expect an upturn in opportunities during the October to December period as Singapore employers report steady hiring prospects for 4Q 2015, says ManpowerGroup, which provides workforce solutions.

Of the 665 employers surveyed, 16% forecast an increase in staffing levels, 3% anticipate a decrease, and 69% expect no change. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Net Employment Outlook stands at +12%. However, while the forecast remains relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter, it declined by 4% year-on-year.

Linda Teo, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore says: “The year-on-year Outlook decline, from 16% to 12%, indicates that while employers expect the hiring pace to remain positive, uncertainties such as weak global demand for exports and China’s sluggish economy have dampened real hiring intentions in our trade-dependent economy.”

Employers in all seven industry sectors surveyed - Finance, Insurance & Real Estate; Manufacturing; Mining & Construction; Public Administration & Education; Services; Transportation & Utilities; and Wholesale & Retail Trades - anticipate an increase in staffing levels during the October-December period. The strongest labour markets are expected in both the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Public Administration & Education sector, with outlooks of 18% growth.

Respectable job gains are also forecast by employers in the Transportation & Utilities sector and the Services sector, who report positive outlooks of 16% and 14%, respectively, while the Mining & Construction sector outlook is a rise of 12%. Meanwhile, Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector employers report the weakest sector outlook for the second consecutive quarter, standing at an increase of 4%. 

Despite the cautious outlook for the wholesale and retail trade sectors, some additional hiring is still expected. Says Teo: “The year end is traditionally a busy period for retailers who have to cope with more demand from shoppers. So, more hiring of contingent workers in particular can be expected.”

When compared with the previous quarter, outlooks improved in four of the seven industry sectors, most notably by 5 percentage points in both the Transportation & Utilities sector and the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector. Quarter-on-quarter, hiring prospects weakened in three sectors, including a decrease of 10 percentage points in the Services sector.

Hiring prospects weakened in six of the seven industry sectors when compared with 4Q of 2014. Considerable declines of 14 and 12 percentage points are reported in the Services sector and the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, respectively, while Mining & Construction sector employers report a decrease by 5 percentage points. However, the outlook for the Manufacturing sector is 5 percentage points stronger.

More than 15,200 employers were interviewed in the Asia Pacific region. The strongest hiring plans in the region are reported by employers in India, Taiwan and Japan. Employers in India report bullish hiring intentions for the coming quarter, with a seasonally adjusted positive outlook of 41% – the strongest in the Asia Pacific region.

The weakest hiring climate is forecast in China. Based on seasonally adjusted figures, Chinese employers anticipate modest growth in staffing levels during the coming quarter, reporting an outlook of 5% more. The figure is the weakest reported by Chinese employers since 3Q 2009.


The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. To receive an e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, register for a subscription online