Over four in 10 Singapore employers planning to hire in third quarter

Hiring demand in Singapore continues to soften, according to latest ManpowerGroup report

Over four in 10 Singapore employers planning to hire in third quarter

Singapore employers that are planning to hire have increased to 44% in the third quarter of 2024, despite overall hiring sentiment marking its third consecutive quarterly fall.

The percentage of employers planning to increase their headcounts went up from the 41% in the second quarter, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from the ManpowerGroup Singapore.

The survey, which polled 525 employers, also revealed that 24% are anticipating a decrease in staffing levels, while 32% do not expect any change in the coming quarter.

Hiring sentiments drop

As a result, Singapore recorded a Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of 20%, slightly lower than the global average of 22%.

This is also the third consecutive NEO decline in Singapore, revealed the survey. It is four percentage points lower than the previous quarter and 14 percentage points below year-over-year.

"The bulk of the dip in hiring sentiment can be attributed to companies making strategic moves to streamline their business and looking to offshore to cut costs or fill the skills gap," said Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, in a statement.

"As flexible working arrangements gain more traction in the country, more companies are likely to consider remote workers to fill the growing discrepancy between workers' skills and the demands of available jobs."

Teo's remarks echo recent plans from employers who are eyeing foreign talent as Singapore moves forward with its flexible work arrangements mandate in December.

It adds to already growing concerns that foreigners are coming to Singapore to take away locals' jobs, which the Ministry of Manpower assured wasn't the case.

Hiring demand per sector

Meanwhile, the Transport, Logistics, and Automotive sector led Singapore's industries with the highest employment outlook of 47%.

According to the report, the sector improved by 22 percentage points from the last quarter and 28 percentage points year-over-year.

Teo attributed the growing hiring demand to green initiatives driving domestic emission reduction.

"With investment flowing into the transition to electric vehicles (EV), companies are actively seeking skilled talent proficient in EV management and charging infrastructure navigation," she said.

Most of Singapore's industries also recorded positive employment outlooks, while the Communications Services sector fell behind with a NEO of -33%.

The Financials and Real Estate sector, despite logging a positive NEO, also recorded a drop of 30 percentage points quarterly and 36 percentage points annually, according to the report.

Source: ManpowerGroup Singapore's Employment Outlook Survey

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