Singapore employers expect hiring pace to grow more conservative in next 3 months

Employment outlook for Q3 2016 dips 4 percentage points year-on-year


Singapore, 14 June 2016 — Job seekers will face a marginally tougher employment environment in the July to September time frame.


Hiring intentions for the next three months are at best moderate, according to the Q3 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS).


Of the 647 employers surveyed, 11% expect to increase staffing levels while 1% anticipate a decrease. Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook stands at a modest +9%, which is the weakest forecast reported since Q3 2009. However, 78% of the employers surveyed said they expect to keep current payrolls intact through the July-September time frame.


Overall, hiring prospects decline by 4 percentage points year-on-year.


Ms. Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore says: “Even though we may not be in a recessionary mode, the employment sentiment certainly isn’t as positive as it has been in the past. In fact, the third-quarter results are the weakest reported since we started to emerge from the last global financial crisis. However, more than three-quarters of the employers we surveyed told us they planned to keep their current workforces intact during the July-September time frame. Employers are clearly sensing more uncertainty in the business environment, but most of them appear to be waiting for clearer signs in the market place before they engage in further personnel decisions.”


She adds: “Our numbers confirm what MAS had indicated about a protracted period of modest growth in the quarters ahead.”


Ms. Teo was referring to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s twice-yearly Macroeconomic Review report published in April. The report said that the nation will face slower economic growth given that its trade-related industries are impacted by sluggish economies of its trading partners such as the United States and Japan.


MEOS is a predictive quarterly survey published by global talent experts, US-based ManpowerGroup. Employers are asked if they plan to increase or decrease headcount in the following quarter or keep to status quo.


Domestic hiring sentiments by sectors
MEOS covers seven industries: Finance, Insurance & Real Estate; Manufacturing; Mining & Construction; Public Administration & Education; Services; Transportation & Utilities; and Wholesale & Retail Trade.


● Net Employment Outlooks
Though employers in all the seven industry sectors expect to hire in Q3 2016, such plans differ vastly in different sectors. The strongest hiring pace is anticipated in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, with an Outlook of +16%. The weakest forecast is reported in the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector, with an Outlook of +3%.


Employers in the Public Administration & Education sector and the Transportation & Utilities sector, report Outlooks of +14% and +13%, respectively.


The Outlook stands at +10% for the Services; +9% for Mining & Construction; and 7%+ for the Manufacturing sectors.


● Quarter-on-quarter sector comparisons
Compared with the previous quarter, job prospects pick up in four of the seven industry sectors, notably by 6 percentage points in Public Administration & Education.


Hiring intentions are 4 and 3 percentage points stronger in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Transportation & Utilities sectors, respectively.


However, Outlooks weaken in the other sectors, including the Mining & Construction, where employers report a decline of 4 percentage points.


● Year-on-year sector comparisons
Job prospects decline in three of the seven industry sectors year-on-year.


The biggest decrease of 14 percentage points is reported in the Services sector.


The Outlooks are 5 and 3 percentage points weaker in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Manufacturing sectors, respectively.


However, hiring plans improve in the other sectors, including an increase of 3 percentage points for the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector.


Asia Pacific hiring outlook
Employers in India and Japan report the strongest third-quarter hiring plans, while those in China and Australia report the weakest.


Though hiring prospects in India decline slightly in both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year comparisons, jobs are still a-plenty: more than a third of employers say they will add to payrolls in the July-September time frame.


Conversely, China’s hiring plans weaken in all industry sectors both quarterly and yearly. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers report the biggest decline, with that sector’s Outlook sinking to negative levels for the first time since Q3 2006.




Notes to Editors
Net Employment Outlook: the figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 13 September 2016 and will detail expected labor market activity for the fourth quarter of 2016. 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, please complete an online subscription form at:


About ManpowerGroup Singapore
Established in 1996 in Singapore, ManpowerGroup works with a range of manufacturing, resources, mining, transport and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers and infrastructure, utilities and engineering services companies. In Singapore, the ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™, and Right Management®. More information on ManpowerGroup Singapore is available


About ManpowerGroup™
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN) is the world’s workforce expert, creating innovative workforce solutions for nearly 70 years. As workforce experts, we connect more than 600,000 people to meaningful work across a wide range of skills and industries every day. Through our ManpowerGroup family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management ® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – we help more than 400,000 clients in 80 countries and territories address their critical talent needs, providing comprehensive solutions to resource, manage and develop talent. In 2016, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the sixth consecutive year and one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible:



Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2016
(00.01 Local time)

Josh Goh
Marketing Director
ManpowerGroup Singapore
D: +65 6551 5321



This blog showcases news and updates from AmCham’s member companies

Send Updates