'Global economic situations, instability and high-interest rates will increase uncertainty'
Nearly half (44%) of employers in Hong Kong plan to increase staffing levels in the first quarter of 2023.
In contrast, only 22% are planning to cut those down, according to ManpowerGroup Greater China.
This hiring forecast comes despite global economic uncertainty, which is causing concerns from employers in the financial hub.
"Global economic situations, the instability, and high-interest rates will increase some uncertainty in the Hong Kong economy, which will play a vital role and would affect the hiring pace in the first quarter," said Lancy Chui, senior vice president of the resources firm, as quoted by Radio Television Hong Kong.
Financial and real estate sectors are predicted to lead the recruitment this quarter, according to Chui, while the health sector is forecast to fall behind.
"We can see that the accelerator of the growth is in the fintech industry. Due to the shortage of talent and insufficient local graduates in this related field," she said.
Hong Kong reported over 74,800 vacancies in September 2022, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), an increase of 37% from the preceding year. Between September and November 2022, there was also a monthly average of 107,331 vacancies from the private sector.
This is against an unemployment rate of 1.6% in the September to November 2022 period.
Businesses across Hong Kong are being warned against using financial incentives to attract and retain employees amid a sinking talent pool, citing their effects on employment costs.
And 84% of leaders have said they are implementing hiring freezes due to global economic uncertainty.
Major overseas employers including Disney have said they will be "limiting headcount additions through a targeted hiring freeze. Meta, Facebook's parent company, also announced that it is extending its hiring freeze until the first quarter of this year.