World Economy Sparks Fear in Singapore’s Employers For 2Q2015

An uncertain global economy may lead Singapore’s employers to decrease hiring activities in the second quarter of 2015, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey revealed.

When compared to both the previous quarter and the same quarter last year, Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of +14% has sunk 4 percentage points according to the results of Manpower’s recent survey, even with the results seasonally adjusted.

NEO is the percentage of employers expecting total employment to increase in Singapore, minus the percentage who think total employment will drop.

Compared to the previous quarter, NEO has declined in five sectors. The only sectors to see comparative growth are Insurance & Real Estate, Finance, and Mining & Construction sectors.

When the NEO is compared to last year’s results, all seven industries are down.

The economic threats seem to have hit the Manufacturing industry with the most skepticism, as they forecasted only a +7% NEO. This statistic is down 8 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2015, but remains fairly stable compared to last year’s results.

ManpowerGroup Singapore’s County Manager, Ms Linda Teo noted that the manufacturing industry will probably see a decline in hiring this April to June because of the weakening global economy as well as labor shortages and restructuring.

She also noted that since oil prices have fallen, Singapore’s marine and offshore engineering clusters are being very conservative with their spending and are therefore likely reluctant to increase hiring.

Despite the fluctuation of the world’s economy, Singapore’s Mining & Construction, Finance, and Insurance & Real Estate sectors provide the country with some hope, with the highest hiring projections.

Both Insurance & Real Estate and Finance companies expect a +20% NEO. These forecasts are up 3 percentage points compared to last quarter but down 4 percentage points when compared to the same quarter last year.

In this quarter, Mining & Construction expects to accelerate their hiring. With a +15% increase in NEO, the industry is 5 percentage points higher than last quarter but still has a decrease of 6 percentage points year-over-year.

Although the Finance sector has seen growth over the past few months, Ms. Teo warns that the weakening global economy could affect the industry.


The hiring pace has been projected to slow in five territories and countries both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. For the sixth time in the past three years, Taiwanese companies report the most optimistic hiring forecasts. While Australia and China report the weakest hiring outlook.

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