Job forecast of employers for 2014: cuts or gains ?

2% of employers forecast job cuts

A recent Manpower Employment Outlook survey reveals that Chinese employers expect the pace of hiring to remain steady in the Salary Increase Forecasts for 2014first quarter of 2014. However, growing numbers of them in the quarter ahead intend to keep their staffing levels as they are. China’s net employment outlook of +13% is unchanged quarter-on-quarter and 2 percentage points weaker year-on-year.

14% of employers forecast job gains

Manpower Group interviewed 4,313 employers in mainland China to measure their intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their organizations between January and March 2014. In that first quarter, 14% of Chinese employers expect to increase their staffing levels, while only 2% plan to cut the number of employees. According to the research, 53% of Chinese employers report that they don't expect to make any changes to their current workforces in the next three months, which is the highest proportion since the second quarter of 2012. Hiring plans in mainland China remain positive but are still below the more optimistic forecasts of late 2010 and early 2011, adding further evidence that the country's growth track may be levelling off.

Staffing levels are expected to grow by varying degrees in all six industrial sectors in the first quarter of 2014, according to employers. Those in the finance, insurance and real estate and manufacturing sectors anticipate the strongest hiring intentions over the quarter, with a net employment outlook of +14%.

Elsewhere, a positive hiring pace is anticipated in the transport and utilities and wholesale and retail trade sectors, with employers in both sectors reporting outlooks of +13%. A steady hiring pace is expected by employers in both the services and mining and construction sectors, where outlooks stand at +11%. The outlook in mining and construction seems set to increase by 8 percentage points quarter-on-quarter and 10 percentage points year-on-year.

China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone attracted investment from top banks and trading and transport companies, which to a certain extent will help to boost employment in these sectors throughout the region. The outlook in the mining and construction sector indicates employer optimism is expanding rapidly. This may be partly due to the government’s intentions to further open the mining to overseas investors and encourage them to participate in resource exploration and utilization.

Employers in Shenzhen post the strongest regional hiring intentions among mainland China’s nine regions and cities. Of these, employers in four regions all report favourable hiring intentions. And the most upbeat pace of hiring is reported in the South and East Regions, both with outlooks of +13%.

As for cities, employers in Shenzhen anticipate the most optimistic hiring intentions, with an outlook of +16%, 3 percentage points stronger quarter-on-quarter. Meanwhile, employers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu all report favourable hiring intentions in the quarter ahead.

Shenzhen has been at the forefront of reforms in China, and it has become an important financial centre. Also, the region is benefiting from accelerating growth in six emerging industries, namely biology, new energies, new materials, the Internet, information technology as well as cultural and creative industries. All this will create a need for talent.

  Source: ACFTU  2014-06-09

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