You are here

Singapore’s job market shows signs of stability

Key survey findings: (Source: Michael Page 2016 South East Asia Salary & Employment Outlook)

  • Across the South East Asia (SEA) region, when it comes to retaining talent, the top three motivators are salary (55%), career progression (49%), and global career opportunities (25%). For Singapore, salary and career progression were also the top two motivators at 49% and 42% respectively, while strong work culture and recognition & benefits (34%) came in as joint third.
  • 49% of respondents in Singapore expect to see an increase in headcount in the next year, while 44% anticipate numbers to remain the same.
  • In Singapore, expectations of salary increases are modest. 11% expect no increase at all, while 71% predict increases of 1-5%.

Singapore, 29th October 2015: 2016 is expected to be a year of stability and steady growth for Singapore with recruitment activity broadly positive, reports Michael Page’s 2016 South East Asia Salary & Employment Outlook. Financial companies continue to attract talent particularly for private banking, risk audit and compliance, while the technology, healthcare & life sciences sectors continue to remain competitive.

At one end of the spectrum is the region’s most developed economy, Singapore, where growth is modest, albeit steady, and salary inflation and staff turnover are relatively low compared to other ASEAN countries. At the other end are markets like Indonesia, where a young population and a burgeoning middle class mean that some industries are growing at breakneck pace. That brings with it sometimes large increases in salary and high turnover of staff as companies compete for talent.

Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director, Greater China & South East Asia, PageGroup, said, “Despite pressures such as political uncertainty and the persistent low oil prices, South East Asia as a region continues on its path of strong growth, with recruitment ongoing across almost all sectors. Professional services such as human resources are increasingly being seen as a critical part of the business to deal with high staff turnover. The current market demands candidates with digital skills and regional experiences as an increasing number of businesses expand across borders.”

Growth for Singapore will be modest compared with its Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts, as low skilled jobs such as bulk manufacturing and logistics are moving to other ASEAN countries. While pockets of skill gaps exist in the engineering and healthcare space, most sectors in Singapore are well established as the desired talent is already present in the market.

Sebastian Hampartzoumian, Senior Managing Director, Singapore & India, PageGroup, said, “Singapore is a relatively stable employment market, where employees are more focused on their careers, looking to gain experience when changing jobs and not just for a raise in salary. Employers are also more cautious in their hiring approach, selecting candidates that are close to a perfect fit. ”

2015 is the year where the region’s economies are due to be integrated into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), encouraging free flow of trade, investment and people among the 10 member states. With this comes access to a wider pool of talent, but response thus far has been lukewarm, with approximately a third (36%) of the respondents saying they have yet to decide or were not interested in hiring from other countries.

The Michael Page South East Asia 2016 Salary & Employment Outlook is a report based on survey findings of more than 850 employers across a range of industry sectors in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Insights drawn from a series of roundtable discussions with employers further enriched the report. The report aims to provide an overview on market and employment conditions, wages, and an outlook across the different sectors. The report can be viewed in full here.

About Michael Page

As part of PageGroup, Michael Page is a leading professional recruitment consultancy specialising in the recruitment of permanent, contract and temporary positions on behalf of the world’s top employers. The Group operates through 153 offices in 34 countries worldwide. First established in London in 1976, we’ve been bringing job seekers and employers together for more than 30 years. Our presence in the Asia Pacific region extends across China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

For more information contact:

Matt Fisher
Senior Content Manager, Asia Pacific
Phone: +612 8804 60820