SINGAPORE (Mar 13): Singapore’s employers are continuing to indicate a strong hiring outlook for 2Q18 with 16% intending to hire during the quarter ahead, according to data from workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup’s latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS).

Out of the 695 employers surveyed in Singapore across seven industry sectors, 5% forecast a decrease in staffing levels while 72% anticipate no change over 2Q18.

It is however worth noting that workforce gains are anticipated across all industry sectors for the period amid a favourable hiring climate, which was observed by ManpowerGroup to have continued since 4Q17.

After accounting for seasonal variation, the hiring outlook stands at +11%.

Hiring prospects appear relatively stable for the quarter ahead when compared to the overall outlook for 1Q18, demonstrating an improvement of three percentage points when compared to that of 2Q17.

The strongest labour market is forecast by Public Administration & Education sector employers with a Net Employment outlook of +25%. This also marks the third consecutive quarter of strong employment outlook in the sector.

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers also expect an active hiring pace, reporting an outlook of +24%.

Elsewhere, outlooks of +10% and +9% are reported in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and the Manufacturing sector, respectively, while Services sector employers report an outlook of +8%.

Modest hiring plans are reported in the Mining & Construction sector with an outlook of +7%, and in the Transportation & Utilities sector, where the outlook is +6%.

On a regional basis, ManpowerGroup says staffing levels are expected to grow in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories during the April-June 2018 period.

However, the group highlights that 2Q forecasts improved in only two countries and territories when compared with 1Q18, with the strongest regional labour market in the upcoming quarter is forecast by Taiwanese employers, followed by Japan.

“Employers’ confidence in Singapore’s economic growth for 2018 is reflected in their continued strong hiring outlook since Q4 2017. With the Singapore government announcing their increased support for companies to adopt digital technology and automation in the Budget 2018 speech, we expect more job opportunities with digital functions to be created over the next few quarters,” comments Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore.