Hong Kong’s hiring intentions remaining unchanged when compared with the previous quarter and year-on year, according to first quarter results from the 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

After removing seasonal variations from  data, Hong Kong’s net employment outlook stands at +15%, with strongest labour demand in the mining and construction, and services sectors, with net employment outlook of +24% and +23% respectively.

Close to one in five (18%) of 760 employers surveyed forecast an increase in staffing levels in Q1 2016, while only 3% predict decreases.

A majority (78%) anticipated no changes to their current employment rosters in Q1 2016.

“A boom in residential housing supply continues to stimulate the hiring plans of employers in the mining and construction sector,” said Lancy Chui, senior vice president, ManpowerGroup Greater China Region.

“Over 80,000 new flats are expected to be completed in the next few years; highly skilled workers are in demand, however, the workforce continues to be diminished due to retirement and shortage of new entrants into the sector,” she added.

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Year-on-year, the outlook in the services sector has increased by 3 percentage points. Shortage of talent in technology continues to accelerate hiring intentions in this sector.

Chui added that big data projects to analyse customer data for development and planning, continue to boost demand for IT talent. Cloud computing, solution architecture and IT project management-related positions are also in demand.

“Likewise, the growing trend of financial technology (fintech) stimulates the search for digital solutions experts,” said Chui. 

Although the economy appears to be losing steam in Hong Kong and China, job prospects in the finance, insurance and real estate sector remain steady recording two percentage points year on year increase.

“Experienced individuals with customer service, revenue-generating skills and wealth management product working experience exhibit some resilience,” said Chui. 

The uncertain business environment has given Hong Kong retailers a warning sign as shoppers cut back on purchase of luxury goods such as jewelry and watches.  

The employment outlook of wholesale and retail trade sector has been the weakest since Q1 2010.  

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Image: Shutterstock

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