Local employers in sectors including IT are holding off on making firm growth plans due to new global financial uncertainty, according to a Q4 Manpower employment outlook survey. The survey of over 640 employers indicates hiring intentions for the next three months have slowed down. The seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is at 16 percent, a slight decrease from last quarter’s 17 percent.
In the services sector which includes IT, employer optimism dropped five percent.
According to Manpower general manager Chris Riley, employers are playing the waiting game.
“We’re hearing varying reports on the state of the world business climate, with some predicting a global ‘double dip’ recession and others holding out hope for continued recovery. These sorts of conditions can make employers more cautious,” says Riley.
He adds that the recruitment company often sees a slight drop off in hiring in the lead up to Christmas, but it appears to be minimal this year.
“This is a good sign, and points to some resilience in the jobs market.”
“The employment market is always going to be varied across industry sectors and we’re now seeing evidence of a two-speed labour market, with some industries returning to pre-recession levels faster than others,” says Riley.
“However, in reaching those levels, many industries are experiencing some turbulence as employers try to gauge the recovery. Sectors like finance and the services sector ,which includes IT, have seen high fluctuations in hiring expectations over the past year.”
Right Management talent management practice leader Julie Saddington says employers are going back to basics with a focus on building the capability and productivity of their existing workforce.
“We’re seeing many of our clients review and implement programmes that support good leadership, enhance productivity and encourage retention – these may sound like basic measures but they are what smart companies will invest in over the coming months, and ensure they get it right, before the real growth begins,” she says.