Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Singapore employment outlook brightens

Singapore, June 2009: Could this represent a "green shoot" for the Singapore economy? According to Manpower's quarterly employment outlook survey, more employers are expecting to return to the hiring table over the next three months.

Of the 697 employers considered for the third quarter update, 12% expected to see an increase in their headcounts. A further 7% predicted a decrease in staff while the remaining respondents expected there would be no change in the third quarter.

Philippe Capsie, country manager of Manpower Singapore, says this represents a significant turnaround on the group's second quarter survey. Then, more employers expected to reduce headcount, rather than increase it. "While there is no quick fix in this current economy downturn, employers' hiring confidence is improving," he said. "Most employers are saying they will retain present staff in the third quarter, indicating that the worst may be behind us."

The survey considered seven distinct industry sectors. Of these, four (including manufacturing, finance and construction) predicted negative employment growth overall. In contrast, modest growth was predicted for the transportation, utilities and retail trade sectors.

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