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02 Nov 2009

Vol.1 (En)

Recovery of Singapore's Employment Market and Wage Rise

Fourth Quarter Forecast / 2010 Employment Forecast

Recovery of Singapore's Employment Market and Wage Rise It is no secret that Singapore's Integrated Resort (IR) Project (namely Resort World Sentosa - RWS) is expeditiously under construction for its highly anticipated inaugural opening for business next Spring. The (IR) Project is expected to serve not only as a big boost to Singapore's Tourism, but the vast employment opportunities that comes together with it would also help boost the economic situation in the region. It is estimated that the IR Project would create 45,000 new jobs for Singapore's Employment market.

Apart from new jobs created by projects such as IR that aids recovery of Singapore's Employment market, The Straits Times also published a report on 23rd Oct 2009 citing an increase in staff hiring intentions from companies, both local and foreign, in Singapore. Japanese manufacturer Makino Asia plans to add strength to its R&D department here by recruiting 60 to 120 more staff over the next 2 years. Advertising Giant Ogilvy & Matter Singapore intends to increase its staff strength here by 10%. OCBC Bank's head of group human resources, Ms Cynthia Tan, also acknowledged that hiring is recovering in their growth sectors.

Human Resource (HR) consultancy - Hudson, recently released their report for the 4th quarter (Q4) employment forecast for Singapore. The Hudson Report is a quarterly survey of forward-looking employer hiring expectations. The Hudson Report is often taken by the media as a reliable index of economical conditions, as they do world-wide employment trend researches. In their Q4 forecast report, Hudson polled 600 executives across key business sectors in August. It found that 34% of the surveyed are expecting to expand employment in Q4. This is an increase compared to the previous quarter's survey result at 26%. This hints a sign of optimism for private sector employment in Singapore. The highest in hiring expectations come from the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector: 44% forecast headcount growth, up from 38% in the previous quarter. This is followed by the Banking & Financial Services sector that reports 43% planning to hire more staff (compared to 32% in Q3). Hiring expectations also continue to grow for the IT&T sector: 36% in Q4, 25% in Q3. The Manufacturing & Industrial sector: 32% in Q4, 21% in Q3. The Consumer sector is the only sector with lowered expectations for Q4 at 20%, a slight decline from their Q3 result of 22%. Among the Media/PR/Advertising firms, 18% has expected to increase its employment in Q4, a slight rise from 17% forecasted for Q3. Hudson's Singapore country manager, Ms Gina McLellan, expressed that although hiring expectations are still lower than they were a year ago, at least they are moving in the right direction.

Taking reference from other polls, the Hong Kong's Human Resourve Business Solutions (HRBS) and US's Hewitt Associates (HA) both recently carried out studies on Wage Rise for yr 2010. According to the results released, both polls show that Singapore employees can expect wage increases next year. The surveys point towards the average wage increase for Singapore employees to be at 2.8% (from HRBS's poll), and at 2.6% (from HA's poll).

One of the main draws of the IR project is the Universal Studios Singapore, which will feature more than 24 different rides for visitors. In October, pictures of these rides and attractions were released to the media, giving the public a teaser of what is to be expected. Reference to the analysts studies covered in the earlier paragraphs, what to be expected for the Singapore employment scene is filled with optimism for the next quarter. With major projects like IR offering thousands of newly created jobs, and existing companies willing to pump in more hiring power to the Singapore employment market, it leaves little doubt that Singapore's employment market is showing signs of recovery. In addition to that, studies are even forecasting that salary increments are expected in year 2010. With the recovery of Singapore's employment market and wage rise in anticipation, it strongly suggests that Singapore's job market's worst days are over.