Singapore Markets open in 6 hrs 39 mins

Job seekers in this sector are under threat of being rejected

Hiring plans are 7ppt slimmer.

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey by Manpower Singapore, the pace of hiring is expected to slow in Quarter 1 2013.

Here's more from Manpower Singapore:

However, Singapore’s net Employment Outlook stands at a respectable +11%. Opportunities for job seekers are expected to be strongest in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and weakest—but still positive—in the Services sector.

With a Net Employment Outlook for the next three months of +3%, employers forecast the weakest labor market since Quarter 3 2009. Hiring plans weaken by 7 percent-age points quarter-over-quarter and by 21 percentage points year-over-year.

Based on unadjusted survey data, employers report uncertain hiring intentions for the coming quarter. The Outlook declines considerably when compared with the previous quarter and weakens sharply year-over-year.

“With the uncertainty in the global business climate, employers may be more cautious in their expansion plans. Hiring prospects are moderately weaker in comparison to last year at this time. However, despite weaker employer hiring sentiment, there are some signs of stability in Singapore’s labour market. Our data reveals quite a large number of employers — 83 percent who intend to make no changes to their workforces over the next three months. Clearly, we’re seeing more employers taking an increasingly cautious approach to hiring and evaluating global market conditions before taking the next step and investing in their human capital,” said Linda Teo, Country Manager of Manpower Singapore.

Singaporean employers report some opportunities to grow payrolls in Quarter 1 2013, although hiring prospects are weaker than at any point since Quarter 3 2009. While 13 percent of employers expect to increase staffing levels, 3 percent anticipate a decrease, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +11 once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variations.

“The world of work is changing rapidly and the old rules of doing business are losing their relevance. We enter the Human Age where people are the real agents of business success. For organizations to remain competitive and gain an added advantage in the business world, employers recognize the importance of having the right talent in their organization,” said Ms. Linda Teo, Country Manager of Manpower Singapore.

Employers in all seven industry sectors expect to increase staffing levels in Quarter 1 2013. The most optimistic hiring intentions are reported in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, where the Net Employment Outlook stands at +22%.

Active labour markets are also forecast in both the Mining & Construction sector and the Public Administration & Education sector, with Outlooks of +21%. Positive hiring climates are expected in the Transportation & Utilities sector and the Manufacturing sector, with Outlooks of +15% and +13%, respectively, as well as the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector, where the Outlook is +12%. The Outlook in the Service sector stands at a conservative +3%.

Quarter-over-quarter, hiring prospects weaken in four of the seven industry sectors, most notably by 10 percentage points in the Public Administration & Education sector.

An Outlook decline of 7 percentage points is reported in the Services sector and the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector Outlook decreases by 3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, hiring plans improve in three sectors, including the Transportation & Utilities sector, with a 5 percentage point increase, and the Mining & Construction sector where the Outlook is 4 percentage points stronger.

More From Singapore Business Review