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Stability and steady growth in store for Singapore's job market
2016 is expected to be a year of stability and steady growth for Singapore with recruitment activity broadly positive. 49% of respondents in Singapore to our 2016 Michael Page South East Asia Salary and Employment Outlook survey expect to see an increase in headcount in the next year, while 44% anticipate numbers to remain the same.
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.
The region’s most developed economy, Singapore, has experience modest, albeit steady, growth, 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.
Despite pressures such as political uncertainty and 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 also 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.
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. Salary and career progression were rated the top two employee motivators at 49% and 42% respectively, while strong work culture and recognition & benefits (34%) came in as joint third.
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 based on the responses 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.