Singaporean employers have revealed bright prospects for their hiring plans in the third quarter of the year, according to a survey conducted by recruitment company ManpowerGroup Employment.

The firm's latest outlook survey released on June 11 showed that 15 percent of the employers intend to increase their staff, 77 percent forecast no change to their payrolls, three percent anticipate a decrease, while five percent gave no answer about their plans.

The resulting net employment outlook for the upcoming quarter is said to remain relative stable at 12 percent, up one percentage point from the previous quarter, but it remains unchanged year-over-year.

Employers in all seven industry sectors, namely finance insurance and real estate, manufacturing, mining and construction, public admin and education, services, transportation and utilities, and wholesale trade and retail trade, expect to add to payrolls in the period, with those in the public administration and education sector reporting the strongest hiring outlook of 22 percent in growth, jumping 5 percentage points from Quarter 2.

Positive workforce gains are expected for the service sector where the outlook is 18 percent increase, up by 8 percentage points from the same time last year.

Outlooks of 10 percent and 9 percent are reported in the transportation and utilities sector and the mining and construction sector, respectively. Elsewhere, employers report moderate hiring plans, with outlooks standing at 8 percent in both the manufacturing sector and the wholesale and retail trade sector.

In the finance, insurance and real estate sector, hiring intention is the weakest at 7 percent, a decline of 18 percentage points on the corresponding quarter.

Job gains are forecast for micro businesses, small businesses, medium businesses and large businesses during the next three months.

Large employers report dynamic hiring plans with a booming outlook of 59 percent, while the most cautious outlook of 4 percent is reported by micro firms.

On a regional scale, employers in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories surveyed expect to grow payrolls in the three months to September 2019, with employers in Japan (25 percent) and Taiwan (22 percent) anticipating the strongest hiring activity, while the weakest outlooks are reported in China ( 8 percent), New Zealand ( 12 per cent) and Singapore ( 12 percent).

President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Kurt Wee said that the US-China trade war affects the global economic trade volume, and impact Singaporean businesses, making them stay more prudent and selective about employment.

Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, said although employers in Singapore remain optimistic, they are cautious about their hiring plan amid the economic headwinds.

Firms will continue filling gaps in their workforce but at a slower pace due to the US-China trade disputes, she said.

Source: China � ASEAN Business Council