SINGAPORE (June 12): Employers in Singapore are reporting their strongest hiring intentions in nearly three years, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released today.

Out of the 670 Singapore employers surveyed, 17% expect to increase staffing levels and only 5% intend to let staff go, while 70% anticipate no change. After accounting for seasonal variation, Singapore’s employers booked a Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of +12%.

ManpowerGroup’s NEO is used as a measure of employers’ hiring intentions, and derived by subtracting the percentage of employers who see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter, from the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase.  

In particular, Singapore’s employers in the finance, insurance & real estate sector saw its strongest outlook in three years with a NEO of +26%, indicating an intention to aggressively expand their headcounts.

This anticipation of steady workforce gains in Singapore is especially so for the transportation & utilities, manufacturing as well as public administration & education sectors at +12-23%, while the mining & construction sector in contrast reported the weakest hiring plans with a NEO of just +3%.

Commenting on the marked improvement in the local manufacturing sector’s hiring outlook, Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, says this comes as no surprise in view of strong demand for electronic parts.

Hiring plans are notably three percentage points stronger than the previous quarter, and 11 percentage points more when compared to 3Q17.

“The optimistic hiring forecast reported in the Manufacturing sector comes as no surprise as the employers revealed in a recent survey by the Economic Development Board (EDB) that they are optimistic about better business prospects in the upcoming months. However, the hiring pace is expected to slow down once demand for semiconductor parts becomes more moderate,” says Teo.

Elsewhere, employers in the remaining Asia Pacific countries intend to add to their workforces by varying margins over the next three months, with employers in Japan having reported the strongest hiring intentions at a seasonally adjusted NEO of +26%.

In contrast, the weakest Asia Pacific labour market is forecast in New Zealand, where seasonally adjusted NEO comes in at +8%.