ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

Hiring Prospects in Singapore Remain Stable For the Second Consecutive Quarter, According to Latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

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  • Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook is +12% for Q3 2019, increasing by one percentage point from the previous quarter.

  • The weakest sector Outlook of +7% is reported by employers in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector.

  • Large employers report booming hiring prospects with a Net Employment Outlook of +59%, jumping by 42 percentage points from the previous quarter.

  • Japanese employers report the strongest hiring plans in the region for the fifth consecutive quarter, while the weakest Outlook is reported in China.

Singaporean employers remain optimistic in their hiring plans for Q3 2019, reveals the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released today. According to the survey, 15% of employers intend to increase their staffing levels out of over 660 Singaporean employers surveyed, while 3% anticipate a decrease and 77% forecast no change to their payrolls. The resulting Net Employment Outlook for the upcoming quarter is forecast to remain relatively stable at +12%, improving by one percentage point from the previous quarter, but remains unchanged in comparison to the same period last year.

“Employers in Singapore remain cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans in the midst of continued economic headwinds,” commented Ms. Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore. “Companies are expected to continue hiring to fill gaps in their workforce, albeit at a slower pace as many employers anticipate the impact of the ongoing trade war between China and the US to spill over into the local economy.”

“While forecasted labor market activity in Singapore continues to remain positive, job seekers can expect the hiring process to be longer as employers are likely to spend more time evaluating candidates before making a decision,” said Ms. Teo.

Employers in all seven industry sectors expect to add to payrolls in the third quarter of 2019 with employers in the Public Administration & Education sector reporting the strongest hiring outlook +22%, a jump of 5 percentage points from the previous quarter. Positive workforce gains are also anticipated in the Services sector where the Outlook is +18%, while Outlooks of +10% and +9% are reported in the Transportation & Utilities sector and the Mining & Construction sector, respectively. Elsewhere, employers report moderate hiring plans in the Manufacturing sector and the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector, with both reporting Outlooks of +8%. Employers in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector report the weakest hiring intention of +7%.


“The surge in hiring intentions in the Public Administration & Education sector reflects the sector’s confidence in business prospects for the upcoming quarter,” said Ms. Teo. “Driven by digitalization and tighter restrictions on foreign manpower, Singaporean employers are upskilling their current workforce to address their skills gaps, thus increasing demands for training services,” she observed.

Job gains are forecast for all four organization size categories during the next three months. Large employers report dynamic hiring plans with a booming Outlook of +59%, while the most cautious Outlook of +4% is reported by Micro firms.

On a regional scale, employers in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories surveyed expect to grow payrolls in the three months to September 2019, with employers in Japan (+25%) and Taiwan (+22%) anticipating the strongest hiring activity, while the weakest Outlooks are reported in China (+8%), New Zealand (+12%) and Singapore (+12%). 

Learn more about upcoming labor market trends here.