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Employment Outlook Q4 2014 forecast


We anticipate increased economic uncertainty in 04 due to geopolitical factors such as the growing threat of ISIS in the Middle East and its accompanying risks to the rest of the world.

The recent protests in Hong Kong are another important development to keep an eye on, as the political motivations behind the protests remain unresolved to date.

If either of these situations escalates, it could cause ripples in the global economy and consequently, Singapore’s economy.  There are also new governments elected in India and Indonesia, and these could result in policy shifts that affect trade and cross-country collaborations.

These developments bear watching but in the foreseeable future, the local economic situation should remain status quo.


The world events described above are not likely to fracture the current employment outlook.  Thus, we expect the usual 04 manpower challenges to return, such as the spike in demand for workers in the Hospitality, Retail, and Food & Beverage sectors due to the festive season.

As in the previous quarter, hiring in Q4 will be mainly to fill vacancies, rather than recruiting for business expansion. It is unlikely that there will be retrenchment of any significance.
The unemployment rate will remain largely unchanged from the previous quarter, hovering around 2%. 


The “hot” hiring industries this quarter will be the Services, IT, and Finance and Finance-related sectors.

Staffing in the service industry continues to be a challenge and this will be exacerbated by the surge in manpower needs owing to seasonal hiring for the festive period. Employers in this industry are resigned to the fact that high employee turnover is inevitable and it is an ongoing challenge they just have to live with.

The greater demand for IT personnel is due to the increased utilisation of IT solutions in response to the emphasis on productivity by the government.

We also foresee more hiring in the Finance and Finance-related sectors because of growing demand for financial services in Singapore.


Similar trends that were seen &iexcln 03 will persist into 04:

1. High employee turnover: In this tight labour market, employers will continue to experience high staff turnover especially at PMET levels.

2. Greater wage expectations: A manpower shortage naturally drives up wages. Therefore, employees will continue to expect higher wages especially at entry level.  Following which, they will accept slightly less increments but only temporarily, as they will be on the lookout for better opportunities and will jump ship once they receive a more attractive offer.

3. Continued demand for Singaporeans and Plis: Singaporean and Permanent Resident workers will still be in great demand by employers as the inflow of foreign workers tightens further.

4. Workforce optimisation: To stay competitive, employers will need to optimise the existing workforce so employees can expect to take on greater responsibilities while companies simultaneously explore ways to increase productivity via innovation and technology. More companies will also look to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)as a possible solution to cope with the reduced reliance on manpower.

5. Increased emphasis on employee retention: Companies will focus on developing and implementing effective talent retention strategies to retain its employees as the manpower crunch persists.

6. Hiring ot older workers: There will be an increa5e in the hiring of mature workers aged 50 and above due to the following factors: the higher retirement age instituted, longer mortality rate, general manpower shortage, and the government’s continued encouragement by way of incentives/grants.


It is currently more of an employee’s market due to the fact that Singaporean and PR workers are in high demand against the backdrop of an extremely low unemployment rate. We believe that the circumstances are further worsened by employers’ mismanagement’ of human capital.

In light of these market dynamics, these are PrimeStaff’s professional recommendations for both employers and job-seekers for 04 2014:

For Employers:

1. Know what you need: Be crystal clear about your manpower requirements before starting the hiring process determine the exact skills, experience, and qualities you are looking for and then go in pursuit of candidates that match this description.

2. Implement HR best practices: Design and put in place HR best practices as &iexclt will help keep staff happy and motivated while enhancing your employer branding to help attract staff.

3. Offer Higher Salaries: Due to the manpower crunch amongst the local workforce, employers should expect to pay more to attract Singaporean and PR workers.

4. Invest to engage: Companies need to invest For Job-seekers: in programmes to keep their employees happy and engaged.  More importantly, this 1. Manage your expectations It may be a will help prevent your staff from leaving to employee’s market but do not exploit the join your competitors. Situation by being too demanding in terms of salary and other expectations relating to the

5 Offer training opportunities: Employees who benefit from training are better equipped to job offer.  Contribute to your organisation. They are also likely to be more motivated and more 2. Stay employable: Do not be too complacent productive. When they perform well, they either. Upgrade yourself by attending receive greater recognition and rewards such relevant courses whenever possible in order as monetary incentives and promotion to bring more value to your new company opportunities, which lead them to stay on and role once you land the job.

For Job-seekers:

1. Manage your expectations: It may be an employee’s market but do not exploit the situation by being too demanding in terms of salary and other expectations relating to the job offer.

2. Stay employable Do not be too complacent either. Upgrade yourself by attending relevant courses whenever possible in order to bring more value to your new company and role once you land the job.


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