Hiring sentiment in Singapore has remained incredibly cautious in 2015, and will continue to be slow in 2016, according to new insights released by Monster.com.

Based on data collated from the monthly Monster Employment Index (MEI) – a gauge of online job posting activities recording the industries and occupations showing the highest and lowest growth in recruitment activity – the report compared how online recruitment had grown over the years.

It stated 2013 witnessed a slowdown in the pace of growth for online recruitment, with an annual decline of 5% on average.

This was attributed to the tightening of foreign labour and was in line with the Ministry of Manpower’s own data that indicated a regression of foreign employment from 6.8% (67,100) in 2012 to 4.6% (48,400) in 2013. During this time, most industry sectors experienced stunted hiring activities.

Despite kicking off with negative annual growth of 1% between January 2013 and January 2014, the year improved as February registered higher growth of 3% annually.

The MEI exhibited positive growth until September 2014 when momentum slowed again. November then showed 4% growth, with 2% in December.

Since January 2015 however, the annual growth registered has been negative. As at August 2015, the year-on-year growth saw a 10% decline.

“Overall, online recruitment has slowed down in Singapore in recent years. Much of the slowdown is driven by external factors, such as China’s economic slowdown and the influence of the declining oil industry, and these global shifts undoubtedly have an affect on the local labour market over time,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong).

He added productivity has also remained weak in Singapore, while the tightened labour market has continued to push up real median incomes.

“All these factors play into a more cautious approach to hiring across industries, which is likely to continue across 2016. There will continue to be demand for numerous skilled professionals in niche markets, but it is important for employers locally to be mindful of the need for a well-balanced workforce to enable productivity of their business and the economy.”

Image: Shutterstock




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