Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Singapore Job market, hiring and salary outlook 2012

Finding a goo job in Singapore has never been easy and it seems like as we are going half year into 2012, it is getting worse. Compared to last year, which was quite good for job seekers, you can definitely feel the difference. Recruitment consultancy companies also increasingly releases reports which shows things are not getting any better.

For example, CIMB expects a drop in job creation in Singapore for 2012 and revised down their estimate from 110K - 115K  jobs initially to 80K-85K due to the economic problems in the West:

"Economic conditions have taken a turn for the worse. Our economics team was initially expecting 110k-115k new jobs a year but with prospects now dimmer, it now expects a lower 80k-85k for 2012 on GDP growth of some 5%. While recent surveys still suggest healthy job growth in 3Q11, checks with headhunters show that hiring plans for most business units in the financial service sector, except private-wealth and fund management, have been put on hold."

ManpowerGroup's Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) for Quarter 1, 2012 does not paint a better picture. Manpower Singapore's MEOS results from 650 employers for Quarter 1, 2012 shows that Singapore employers report considerably weaker hiring prospects:

"With the data adjusted for seasonal variation, the Quarter 1, 2012  Net Employment Outlook (NEO) stands at +18%, sinking to its weakest level in overt wo years.  The Quarter 4, 2011  NEO was +31% and the Quarter 1, 2011 NEO was 29%. The slower hiring trend is consistent with the findings from the other five of eight Asia-Pacific countries, in which 15,500 employers were surveyed. This might be attributed to the continuing global economic uncertainty and challenges.  
With 21% of Singapore employers forecasting an increase in staffing levels, 5% anticipating a decrease and 71% expecting no change, there is an increase in percentage of Singapore employers expecting no change in staffing levels."
Source : Market Review, Career
Unfortunately, many jobs created since 2008 crisis are created by printed money and as the printed money dries out in the West and the reality of paying the debt back sets in, many of these jobs face the danger of disappearing.

In this environment, if you are employed the best thing to do is to work a little harder to be both indispensable and more important promote-able. This will ensure that you will not be the first choice when the time for retrenchment comes. If you really want to change your job accelerate your job search and if you are not employed try harder to find a new one.

But there are still bright spots. The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are still growing in Singapore. Traditionally strong powerhouse in recruitment, the information technology (IT) industry is also not likely to let up in the near future:

“The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are also growing in Singapore. With the nation’s aim to become a biomedical hub, this industry is likely to become a robust labour market,” said Krishna. A traditionally strong powerhouse in recruitment, the information technology (IT) industry is also not likely to let up in the near future. Within the It industry, senior software developers/managers can potentially command a good salary, especially within the banking and finance industries, as their numbers are limited in Singapore. “equipped with both financial product knowledge as well as strong software development skills, usually in one or more programming languages, they will remain in demand for some time to come,” explained Lee. Similarly the energy market like the oil and gas industry is expected to continue a steady hiring pace especially of skilled professionals like engineers. Healthy recruitment levels are also envisaged to continue in the public sector as well as in government-linked companies."

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