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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

One in five employers to hire staff in 3Q18

There is shortage of employees in healthcare, construction, and transport.

Job hunters may expect openings as employers are reporting upbeat hiring plans for the third quarter of 2018. With a Net Employment Outlook of +17%, about one in five Hong Kong employers (21%) is expecting to hire more whilst 4% expect decrease and 75% do not see any change in hiring plans, a study by ManpowerGroup revealed.

Hiring intentions are more stable with +5% compared to the previous quarter. The Employment Outlook Survey found that hiring intentions are highest in finance, insurance and real estate sector, as well as the services sector with Net Employment Outlooks of 23% and 22%, respectively.

The latest Hong Kong Census and Statistics has revealed that the unemployment rate has reached its lowest record as of the last 20 years.

“Among the major industries, the well-developed financial sector in Hong Kong will continue to play an important role in the coming future,” ManpowerGroup greater China region senior vice president Lancy Chui said, citing that Mainland China and overseas enterprises have been planning to open new offices in Hong Kong.

Chui also mentioned that the real estate sector has also seen an optimistic hiring intention given the strong demand in property sales market in the first and second quarter.

“In addition, people from Mainland China keep investing in insurance products, the growing pace of insurance business is on a fast track in Hong Kong,” she added. The official further noted that recruitment needs in some international banks are expanding. 

“The demand for FinTech specialists will be the major focus, especially the innovation in regulation technology to reduce the risk of personal information leak,” Chui commented. 

Adding to the list of hopeful employers for hiring are those from the wholesale and retail trade with a Net Employment Outlook of +15%. The official cited the weak exchange rate of Hong Kong currency against the yuan has attracted Mainland residents to visit Hong Kong. 

Meanwhile, the demand for healthcare service sector for Hong Kong’s aging population continues.

“Healthcare services need to expand and this will require more training courses combined with new policies that help attract more new blood to enter this sector and help to fill up the shortfall of workforce,” Chu said.

The construction industry also needs expansion as there are at leasts 18,000 new private residential units for completion in 2018, according to a government report. The Construction and Industry Council (CIC) had also announced earlier that the industry is challenged due to aging employees and shortage of the overall labour force.

Meanwhile, transportation and utilities employers reported a Net Employment Outlook of +18% for the second consecutive quarter despite the same problem of aging and shortage in the labour force. Hiring intentions improve +4% compared to the third quarter of 2017.

“The Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge (HZMB) will be ready to open, and transportation in terms of volume and frequency will be increased tremendously,” Chui commented.

The survey was answered by employers in 44 countries, including 636 Hong Kong respondents. It found that Japan reported the strongest hiring plans for 3Q18 in the Asia Pacific, whilst New Zealand employers have the weakest forecasts.

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