Singapore’s job market remains resilient as hiring continues

While the global economy remains uncertain and firms face a talent shortage, many firms are continuing to add to their headcount.
By: | September 13, 2023
Topics: Mobility | News | Singapore

Almost half of employees in Singapore are planning to increase hiring in the final quarter of 2023, despite the prevailing global economic uncertainty.

However, a more cautious approach is taken by 12% of employers, who anticipate a reduction in their workforce. Another 38% have no immediate plans to adjust their headcount, and a mere 2% expressed uncertainty about their hiring intentions.

These figures contribute to an overall seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 36%, marking a 2% increase from the previous quarter and aligning with figures observed in Q4’2022, according to a new survey by Manpower Group, which sought feedback from 510 public and private sector employees.

Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, said, “Employers are maintaining a confident but cautious outlook towards their hiring activity, continuing to grapple with the global economic slowdown and talent shortage concerns.”

Despite a slight adjustment in Singapore’s 2023 economic growth forecast, the survey underscored that export-oriented sectors may witness a slowdown. In contrast, domestic service sectors such as healthcare and logistics continue to experience strong demand.

READ MORE: Singapore defines flexible work to benefit employees and employers

A deeper dive into sector-specific insights from the survey revealed the transport, logistics, and automotive sector as the most optimistic, with a net 60% of employers planning to hire in the upcoming quarter—a year-on-year growth of 38 percentage points. The healthcare and life sciences sector also demonstrated a positive hiring outlook, with a net employment projection of 53%, reflecting a 20-percentage point increase year-on-year.

Still, more than eight in 10 employers in Singapore acknowledged the existence of a talent shortage. Consequently, hiring managers are exploring inclusive and flexible approaches to address this challenge. The survey found that 35% of employers are open to hiring older applicants seeking employment or a career change, while 29% are willing to hire individuals who were previously unemployed due to caretaking responsibilities, reported The Straits Times.