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Singapore – Hiring up but through short-term contracts

16 June 2014

Labour market watchers have predicted that companies in Singapore may increase headcount in the coming months, as economic activity picks up towards the end of the year. However, they expect that some of the hiring will lean toward short-term contracts, reports channelnewsasia.com

Human Capital Singapore, the national human resource training centre, advised that vacancies may open up in banking and finance, among other sectors.

Ho Geok Choo, Chief Executive Officer of Human Capital Singapore, commented: "If you look at some statistics that were released in the market, it has indicated that at least about 53% have indicated that they will hire more. And out of this 53%, 33% of them are saying that, they are looking at, at least hiring another 10 additional headcounts.”

With foreign worker limits in place, service-oriented industries like food and beverage may feel the squeeze. And so, to cope during busy festive seasons, more firms may look at stop-gap solutions.

Ms Ho continued: "What is very fashionable nowadays is where they are beginning to bring in people on a short-term basis - that means contract-for-service, rather than contract-of-service. So they might hire them for six months to 12 months."

However, one sector with a tepid hiring outlook may be manufacturing, with growth relatively sluggish as firms restructure.

Irvin Seah, a senior economist at DBS Bank, explained: "There is drag coming from the electronics cluster in the overall manufacturing sector. On the other hand, we are seeing some upside surprise coming from the pharmaceutical cluster, as well as the marine, offshore marine engineering cluster. But that being said, these two clusters tend to be quite volatile."

Economists expect the unemployment rate to be 1.9% at the end of 2014. This, they say, is pretty much a situation of full employment, which means there'll be no let-up in the tightness of the labour market.

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