Jobs outlook up as firms look to hire

More than half of employers in Hong Kong will hire more staff in the next three months, but 12 percent of the 520 employers in a poll said they are going to cut manpower in the fourth quarter, according to international human resources firm ManpowerGroup.

The findings in its latest survey showed that the net employment outlook for the coming quarter for Hong Kong is 36 percent after adjustments for seasonal variations, which is a 15-percentage point improvement when compared with the prior quarter and 31 percent higher compared with the same period last year.

Of the 520 employers surveyed, 55 percent expected to increase manpower, 12 percent anticipate a decrease and 33 percent forecast no change.

Although the survey showed double-digit growth in most sectors, hiring activity and the overall economy in the coming quarter will depend on developments on the pandemic front and related preventive measures, said Lancy Chui Yuk-shan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Greater China.

Construction offered the most dynamic employment outlook of 61 percent, 41 percentage points stronger quarter on quarter and 55 percentage points stronger year on year.

Chui said the government and the private market will see large-scale infrastructure projects, with innovative technology such as "modular integrated construction'' employed to enhance overall productivity and improve building safety set to create different types of jobs.

"It is estimated that an additional 10,000 people are needed annually in the coming three years, especially skilled and semi-skilled workers. The talent shortage within the industry further puts pressure on employers," she said.

IT, technology, telecoms, communications and media sectors follow, with their outlook being 57 percent, 26 percentage points higher than the last quarter.

"Digital transformation in business is increasing at an unabated pace, so cyber security becomes vital and leads to an increase in demand for experts in the field," she said.

Banking, finance, insurance and real estate sectors ranked third, with their 49-percent outlook up 36 percentage points year on year, reflecting an increasing desire to recruit to cope with business transformation.

In addition, insurers are actively planning to open offices in the Greater Bay Area.