Taiwan's hiring outlook weakens in Q4

2018/09/11 19:59:46 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan's hiring outlook weakens in Q4

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwan's hiring outlook for the fourth quarter of this year weakened amid fears over escalating global trade tensions that could hurt demand and the pace of the world economic recovery, according to a survey released by U.S.-based advisory firm ManpowerGroup.

In addition, a decision made by the government to raise the minimum monthly wage by 5 percent and the minimum hourly wage by 7.14 percent from Jan. 1, also made employers here more cautious, the advisory firm said.

Citing the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, which collected 1,039 valid questionnaires from employers in Taiwan, the advisory firm said the net hiring outlook stood at 21 percent in the October-December period, down 2 percentage points from a quarter earlier and from a year earlier.

Still, Taiwan's fourth-quarter net hiring outlook was the second- highest among the eight economies in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan's 26 percent, unchanged from the third quarter and from a year earlier, the survey indicated.

The poll, which reflects hiring confidence among employers, calculated the net employment outlook after seasonal adjustments by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating a decline in total employment from the percentage expecting an increase.

In the latest survey, about 26 percent of the employers polled said they plan to expand their workforce during the October-December period, while 6 percent said they will cut jobs and about 67 percent said they expect the size of their workforce to remain the same.

After seasonal adjustments, the net employment outlook for the fourth quarter stood at 21 percent, ManpowerGroup said.

According to the survey, the wholesale/retail sector suffered the steepest decline in the net hiring outlook, falling 12 percentage points from a quarter earlier and from a year earlier to 14 percent in the fourth quarter.

ManpowerGroup said the decline largely reflected concern over rising operating costs in the sector after the minimum wage hike. The survey showed that the net hiring outlook of the local service sector was the highest among the major seven sectors in the poll, hitting 26 percent in the fourth quarter, down 1 percentage point from a quarter earlier and a year earlier as gaming software suppliers were the largest group in the sector to recruit newcomers.

The manufacturing sector came in second, with a net hiring outlook of 23 percent, but the figure was down 5 percentage points from a quarter earlier and down 6 percentage points from a year earlier.

ManpowerGroup said the weaker sentiment among manufacturers was because they feared escalating global trade tensions will compromise exports and industrial production, while higher operating costs caused by the minimum wage hike also made them cautious.

Meanwhile, the financial/real estate sector's net hiring outlook stood at 22 percent, the third-highest among the seven sectors, down 8 percentage points from a quarter earlier and down 4 percentage points from a year earlier, amid volatility in the financial markets as well as a fall in property investment by banks.

After Japan and Taiwan, Hong Kong (17 percentage points) and New Zealand (15 percentage points) ranked third and fourth, while China was at the bottom of the rankings with 6 percent, according to ManpowerGroup.

(By Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang)

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