1,400 CEOs Share Expectations For The Economy And Jobs In 2017

jobs market 2017 expectations

PWC released their survey of around 1,400 CEOs from 79 countries, which aims to gauge their expectations for growth of their company and as well as the economy.

For 2017, 38% (35% in 2016) of the CEOs are confident about their organisation’s growth prospects and 29% (27% in 2016) are of the opinion that global economic growth will see an uptick.

ceo job and economic growth 2017

The leaders expressed concern over a number of issues, including over-regulation (80%), economic uncertainty (82%), availability of key skills (77%) and protectionism (59%).

As per Bob Moritz, PWC’s Global Chairman:

“Despite a tumultuous 2016, CEO confidence is moving back up – albeit slowly and still a long way from the levels we saw back in 2007. But there are signs of optimism right across the globe, including in the UK and US, where despite predictions of a Trump slump and a Brexit exit, CEOs confidence in their company’s growth are up from 2016. “

77% of CEOs are also worried about the availability of talent which matches the skills their business needs. This issue is the most pressing for leaders in Africa (80%) and Asia Pacific (82%).

leader concerns business 2017

52% of CEOs plan to increase headcount in 2017, while 16% are looking to reduce the number of people employed. Leaders in India (67%), Canada (64%), UK (63%) and China (60%) report the biggest hiring plans.

The industries where the most hires are expected are Asset Management (64%), Healthcare (64%) and Technology (59%).

For detailed information on the survey results and CEO interviews, take a look here.

Tekasek Owned Infrastructure Consulting Firm To Layoff 65 Staff

temasek surbana fire staff

As per press reports, Surbana Jurong,  an infrastructure development consulting firm owned by Temasek Holdings, will be letting go of up to 65 employees in Singapore.

The company employs around 3,000 people in Singapore. So 2.2% of its workforce will be laif-off.

After being given the termination letters, the employees took up the matter with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and also the unions they are a part of (Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union and Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union).

Both the unions are affiliated with NTUC and along with the MOM, they are speaking with the company to understand their plans and see how the employees can be assisted.

Seagate Closing Plant And Laying-Off 2,100 Employees In China

seagate cutting jobs china

In July 2016, Seagate Technology announced it would be letting go of 6,500 employees globally.

A large part of these layoffs were expected to be in Malaysia, by shutting down the firm’s factory in Penang (3,000 staff).

As part of the global cost cutting exercise, Seagate now announced it will be closing a manufacturing plant in China (Sozhou) and laying-off 2,127 employees.

The 1.1 milion square foot facility was bought by Seagate for $1.9 billion in 2006.

As per the company, they will continue to invest in their factory in Wuxi, China and optimise the plant to meet current demands from the market.

Seagate is facing difficulties since the demand for hard-disk drives has been on the decline. It sold ~39 million hard drives in 1Q 2017, as compared to ~60 million in 1Q 2015.

Salaries And Expectations Of Graduates In Hong Kong

graduate salaries in hong kong 2016 2017

89% of the recent crop of university graduates in Hong Kong, landed a job within three months of graduating.

And most of them (76%) are happy with the job they managed to get.

This is as per a survey by JobsDB, of approximately 760 local graduates in Hong Kong. Here are a few more highlights:

  • The average salary for fresh graduates is HK$ 14,685 per month (HK$ 13,413 last year).
  • The three most preferred sectors for graduates are accounting, marketing/ advertising/ PR, and the civil services.
  • 41% expect to stick with their first job for over three years, as compared to 20% in the previous year. This is most likely a function of the uncertain economic environment.
  • Factors that graduates value most in a job, include compensation (27%), ability to pursue/develop their interests (15%), the organisation’s environment/ culture/ reputation (11%), job security (11%) and career development (10%).
  •  71% of students were optimistic about their careers.

“The results of the survey speak for themselves. With the right conditions, employers can expect to retain many of their fresh graduates for three years or more,” said Justin Yiu, Hong Kong General Manager at Jobs DB.

salary for undergradutes in hong kong

career goals students hong kong

Positive Changes For Older Employees In Singapore

older worker re-employment salary singapore

Yesterday, in Singapore, the Parliament passed the Retirement and Re-employment (Amendment) Bill 2016, which will help the older workforce with re-employment opportunities.

Here are the main changes that will go live on 1 July 2017.

Increasing the re-employment age from 65 to 67 years

Locals who were born on or after 1 July 1952 (or in other words, those who turn 65 on or after July 2017) will be eligible.

Providing an option for re-employment in other organisations

In case the employer cannot re-employ staff in their own company, they have the option to arrange for re-employment with another organisation. This will help to provide more flexibility to the labor market.

However, the employee must agree to such a transfer of re-employment. If the employee does not consent, then the employer must meet the re-employment obligations

As per the MOM –

“This amendment in the Bill allows an employer who is unable to offer a suitable position in his own organisation, to transfer his re-employment obligations to another employer, provided this is done with the older employee’s consent and that the second employer agrees to take over all applicable re-employment obligations.

Allowing eligible employees to be re-employed by another employer will help to provide more options for employers and employees.”

Removing the ability for employers to reduce staff compensation at 60

The new law will not allow employers to cut the salary of those who turn 60 anymore.

The provision to cut wages (by up to 10%) was introduced in 1999 and while 98.5% of companies were not using it in practice, the new law is still a welcome change.

The Skills Gap In Singapore’s Finance Sector Is Widening

skills gap bank finance jobs singapore

The skills gap facing many companies in Singapore is about more than the skills themselves, especially when it comes to companies looking to hire professionals in the finance industry/function.

More than three-quarters of CFOs note that they see greater competition from overseas corporations who want to attract the same skilled professionals.

A recent study from Robert Half showed that because of the competition, finance companies and banks are running into more difficulties as they meet with and try to attract potential employees. In fact, the study showed that 79 percent of CFOs report that this overseas competition is making the skills gap even wider.

Medium-sized companies are being hit the hardest, with 94 percent of CFOs in these firms noting that overseas companies are increasing their offers to talented potential employees.

However, that hasn’t stopped almost half of these Chief Financial Officers from doing the same thing. Around four in 10 — or 44 percent — said that they will also look overseas to hire skilled professionals for their own departments. They plan to look for and fill at least 10 percent of their positions with employees from foreign countries.

Robert Half Singapore’s Managing Director Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard notes that Singapore has an advantage as a result of its global reputation, innovation, and business excellence. All three factors are traits that financial services professionals appreciate. Even so, the report shows that when the companies in Singapore want to add employees, they have no choice but to work with the foreign markets to offset the skills shortage in the country.

The skills shortage weighs heavy on the mind of CFOs. Almost 79 percent of these CFOs note that their innovation — in both ideas and execution — is hindered because of the shortage. Hong Kong is a strong regional competitor, and if companies in Singapore want to compete regionally, they need to continue stepping up their game.

If companies want to attract skilled talent, they should be willing to re-examine their policies for attracting prospective employees and retaining them for years to come. There has been an increasing focus lately on looking at ways to put together packages that would attract talented and senior candidates, both local and foreign, to alleviate the skills gap in the financial sector.

Salary Growth Rates Expected Across Asia Pacific In 2017

salary increment asia 2017

Mercer recently performed research on the nominal wage growth occurring in Asia-Pacific countries, and found that that employees should be receiving slightly higher salary increases in 2017 compared to 2016.

The region is seen as an outlier due to the uncertainty of the global economy, and the fact that it is expected to perform above the global average. Inflation is low for most of the countries, so that helps to make the real wage growth relatively better.

Expected Percentages

Two countries that have the largest percentage of salary growth are Vietnam at 9.2 percent and India at 10.8 percent.

In addition, the financial regions of Singapore and Hong Kong are both expected to see about a 4 percent increase.

Countries that are among the lowest with increases between 2-3 percent, include Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

salaries in asia 2017

Employee Pay Levels And Rewards

Korea, Australia and Japan all have starting salaries that begin at about $30,000, and as employees move up the ladder, salaries rise steadily to the point where they could be making between $250,000 and $350,000.

In many of the countries in Asia (especially China), executives that are higher up in companies will earn better paychecks than their counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, this is only keeping salaries in mind, since things are different when the long-term incentives and social security benefits available in Europe are brought into the equation.

In Asia countries need to focus more on benefits and take a tailored approach. For instance, Korea and Japan both have an aging workforce with the average age of 45, and the benefits provided revolve around retirement and long-term incentives, whereas places with a younger workforce like in the Philippines, Indonesia and India focus on learning and development along with flexible benefits.

Turnover

Turnover seems to be an issue for companies in just about all of the Asia-Pacific countries as the research uncovered a double-digit turnover rate. The only two countries that aren’t facing these high rates of turnover are New Zealand and Japan.

Tech Firms In Asia Raise Salary Budgets Due To Rising Turnover

asia turnover salary 2017

Experts might expect that, given the fluctuating state of the global economy, employees would want to retain their positions for longer periods of time. However, at least in the technology industry in the Asia-Pacific region, and in Singapore, specifically, this does not hold true.

New reports show that technology companies in Asia-Pacific have high voluntary employee turnover rates. These high turnover rates are a surprising outcome considering the high levels of instability and uncertainty in economies around the world.

In fact, voluntary turnover rates in all markets, except for Japan and South Korea, are higher than 10 percent. Singapore is fourth when compared to all regional major markets at 11.7 percent, trailing Australia, Malaysia and India in terms of the highest voluntary turnover rates.

These stats came from the Radford Trends Report, which publishes surveys and reports about compensation and development in more than 80 countries. Radford is a part of Aon Hewitt.

As a result of the increasing voluntary employee turnover, the report shows that many of the companies in the region have started to create hiring plans that might be deemed more aggressive than normal. Two-thirds of companies in the technology sector in Asia-Pacific have created detailed plans to help address this situation.

India is also leading this trend, with 13 percent of the companies implementing an aggressive hiring plan. Companies in India are also reporting plans to take their salary increase budgets from 10.5% in 2016 to 11% in 2017.

While the salary increase isn’t quite as drastic in Singapore as it is in countries like India or Indonesia, it isn’t far behind.

Companies in Singapore are also working to improve their employee retention. To respond to median voluntary turnover at 11.7%, technology companies in Singapore are keeping more aside for salary increase budgets (4.4% in 2017 vs 4.2% in 2016).

technology it company salary increase 2017 asia singapore

Economic Activity Improved For 14 Of 19 Sectors In Asia (Nov 2016)

asia jobs november 2016

The Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) measures economic activity (such as output, new orders, prices) and consequently employment growth/contraction.

A number above 50 points towards an economic expansion and below 50 points toward a contraction.

Here is a summary of the PMI numbers for countries in Asia, during November 2016. Numbers in brackets are for the previous month.

  • Singapore: 52.8 (50.5)
  • Hong Kong: 49.5 (48.2)
  • Japan: Services 51.8 (50.5), Manufacturing 51.3 (51.4)
  • India: Services 46.7 (54.5) , Manufacturing 52.3 (54.4)
  • Philippines: 56.3 (56.5)
  • Malaysia: 47.1 (47.2)
  • Indonesia: 49.7 (48.7)
  • Thailand: 48.2 (48.8)
  • Vietnam: 54.0 (51.7)

The PMI increased for 14 of the 19 sectors in Asia. Below are some of the sectors which showed the strongest growth and contraction.

  • General industrials: 57.0
  • Industrial services: 56.3
  • Commercial & professional services: 56.1
  • Real estate: 48.9
  • Healthcare services: 48.5
  • Insurance: 46.6

Dyson To Open New Facility And Grow Workforce In Singapore

dyson singapore jobs

Dyson is planning on opening a new tech centre in Singapore next year.

It also plans to increase its engineering team by 50% in the next couple of years.

At the moment, the company has approximately 800 staff in Singapore, across three locations that include a commercial office, motor manufacturing facility and R&D lab.

Majority of the new hires will be engineers, with specialization is areas such as design, mechanics, electronics, software and motors. In addition to experienced people, Dyson will also be looking for fresh graduates who have no/little work experience under their belt.

“Singapore is much more than just the site where all our advanced Dyson digital motors are manufactured. We have plans for our engineers here to step up in developing the next frontier of Dyson technology, in close collaboration with our team in the United Kingdom.” – Scott Maguire, Dyson’s Global Engineering Director.

Highlights Of The Singapore Job Market In 2016

singapore jobs and salaries 2016

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore, released some advance numbers for the employment market during 2016.

Here are the highlights:

  • The labour force participation rate has been on a rising trend over the last five years. While it declined in 2016 (68%) as compared to 2015 (68.3%), this was due to certain one-off policies implemented in the previous year.
  • Due to poor economic conditions, the unemployment rate for residents increased to 3% in 2016 (2.8% in 2015).
  • The employment rate for people between 25 and 64 years of age, stayed stable at 80.3%. The rate was lower for males but this was offset by an increase in the employment rate for females.
  • Real median monthly income of residents employed full-time, increased by 2.7% to SGD 4,056. This was lower than the rate in the previous year, which was at 5.3%.

singapore job market in 2016

Standard Chartered To Layoff More Staff In Singapore and Hong Kong

standard chartered layoffs singapore hong kong

Standard Chartered will be letting go of around 10% of its employees, from the corporate and institutional division.

This round of retrenchments follows an exercise started last year, to cut costs and improve profitability at the bank.

Employees will be informed of the job cuts beginning this week. People in departments such as corporate finance and trade finance will be impacted, in locations including Hong Kong and Singapore. The majority of senior level layoffs are expected to be in Singapore.

“We are making our corporate and institutional banking division more efficient. Removing duplication in roles and managing our costs to protect planned investments in technology and people means that a small number of existing roles will be impacted.” – statement released by Standard Chartered.

Over a year after CEO Bill Winters announced various initiatives and plans to improve the situation at the bank, Standard Chartered is still facing falling revenues. The bank had approximately 85,000 employees in the beginning of July 2016, which is lower by 1,500 from the same time last year.