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ManpowerGroup released its quarterly employment outlook survey for Singapore a few days ago, providing a barometer of sentiments towards hiring among local companies divided into nine broad categories.

  1. Transport, Logistics and Automotive
  2. Healthcare and Life Sciences
  3. Industrials and Materials
  4. Consumer Goods and Services
  5. Energy and Utilities
  6. Information Technology
  7. Financials and Real Estate
  8. Communication Services
  9. Other, not on the list

The methodology is simple. Each quarter the authors survey over 40,000 employers in 42 countries, measuring the intent to hire against the intent to reduce employment. The net result, positive or negative, shows the direction in the entire labour market as well as in each specific industry.

In Singapore, general sentiments remain positive, with 44 percent of employers looking to hire new staff this quarter, though 24 percent expect cuts (while the rest remain where they are).

This gives a Net Employment Outlook score for Singapore of a positive 20 percent.

ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2024

The index typically remains above zero here, save for extraordinary circumstances caused by global disruptions, like the recent pandemic, where it briefly dipped into negatives before bouncing back strongly in the subsequent periods:

ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2024

That said, the trends remain slightly downward, as the economy has returned to full employment following COVID-19, and fewer companies have vacancies to fill.

Some, however, may still have many on offer.

Electrifying prospects in transport

If you’re looking for a job this quarter, you’re likely to come across a surge in opportunities from the Transport, Logistics and Automotive sector, driven by the transition to electric vehicles and the resulting need for qualified personnel to handle it:

“Green initiatives driving domestic emission reduction are expected to boost job growth in Singapore’s Transport, Logistics & Automotive sector. With investments flowing into the transition to electric vehicles (EV), companies are actively seeking skilled talent proficient in EV management and charging infrastructure navigation.”

Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore

A staggering 87 percent of employers are reporting talent shortages, as nearly half of all companies are planning to increase headcounts this quarter. This gives the sector the lead at a net +47 percent in Employment Outlook for Q3—up by 22 percent from the last quarter and 28 percent year-on-year.

ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2024

The best, the rest and the worst

Two other industries completing the podium are Healthcare, still adapting to post-Covid reality and growing demand, and the Industrial sector, which has recently seen some high profile investments in local manufacturing, which seems to reflect growth in business.

ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2024

The rest of the pack falls somewhere within the country’s average, with one notable outlier, Communications Services, which slid by another 4 percentage points compared to Q2, deepening the collapse to 64 since last year.

ManpowerGroup does not publish the specific breakdown per industry vertical, but we can conservatively estimate that around half or more employers in Communications are planning job reductions this quarter, and the outlook is not good for the sector this year.

In general, however, the prospects for the entire labour market are positive as the global talent shortage shows no signs of easing.

Artificial intelligence is not a threat to your job yet either, as 57 percent of employers in Singapore anticipate the need to hire more people in the coming two years because of the requirements of AI.

Even if AI sceptics are right, so far, the employment situation looks like it will get better before AI can make it worse.

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