Job Market Turns Active in Early 2010

(Monday, July 19, 2010)

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]

 

Job Market Turns Active in Early 2010

 

[July 19, 2010 – Hong Kong]   Hikes in staff turnover and job vacancy rates signal an active job market in Hong Kong, according to the First Quarter 2010 Survey of Manpower Statistics conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM).

Conducted since 2002, the HKIHRM Quarterly Survey of Manpower Statistics regularly tracks manpower movements in Hong Kong's labour market. A total of 105 companies participated in the 2010 first-quarter survey, covering some 103,000 employees. Key data generated include staff turnover, job vacancy and staff absence rates, collected on a quarterly and annual basis. 

Staff Turnover Rate
The overall turnover rate for the first quarter of 2010 was 2.54%, 0.25 percentage point higher than for the previous quarter (2.29%) and 0.98 percentage point higher than for the same period in 2009. The retail sector recorded the highest turnover (of 5.65%), followed by the business/ professional services (4.86%) sector. In terms of staff grade, the highest turnover rate was among middle management / non-managerial professionals (2.79%) and the clerical / frontline staff (2.79%).

Job Vacancy Rate
The overall average job vacancy rate for the first quarter of 2010 was 3.06%. This figure was 0.77 percentage point higher than the figure recorded for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 1.17 percentage points higher than for the same period in 2009. The community / social / personal services sector recorded the highest job vacancy rate (5.18%), followed by the financial services/ banking/ insurance sector (4.39%). In terms of staff grade, the highest vacancy rate was found in the middle management / non-managerial professionals segment (3.74%).

New Positions/Position Cuts
The percentage net growth in new positions during the first quarter was 0.84%, 0.32 percentage point higher than the record set in the previous quarter and 0.88 percentage point higher than the figure recorded for the same period in 2009. The highest net growth in job positions was recorded in the property development/ real estate/ construction sector (2.36%), followed by the community / social / personal services sector (2.14%). In terms of staff grade, the highest net growth during the first quarter of 2010 was recorded in the middle management / non-managerial professionals segment (1.94%).

"Both staff turnover and job vacancy rates are on the rise reflecting an improving labour market. With a continuous rebound in economy activity, the net growth in new jobs peaked in first quarter of 2010 since the global financial turmoil. However, data revealed that wholesale, import/ export, trading, distribution sector recorded a negative job growth as a result of uncertain economic outlooks in Europe and the United States, Hong Kong's top two export markets," said Mr Mok Gar-lon, President of the HKIHRM.

Absence Rate
The Institute has been collecting data on employee absenteeism since the third quarter of 2005. In this survey, 'absence' is defined as an unscheduled absence of one or more days, including sick leave (paid or unpaid), emergency leave and casual leave. The results for the first quarter of 2010 showed that the overall absence rate for the approximately 47,600 employees covered by the survey was 1.81%. The community/ social/ personal services sector recorded the highest absence rate (2.83%). In terms of staff grade, the clerical / frontline segment recorded the highest absence rate (1.51%).

"Apart from widespread influenza pandemic, reports about hand, foot and mouth disease are becoming common. Employers should pay more attention in promoting employee wellness at home and in workplace. This will reduce companies' medical cost and enhance employees' productivity," remarked Mr Mok.

Conclusion
The labour market became more active in the first quarter of 2010 as the Hong Kong economy has been perking up moderately after being hard hit amid global financial crisis. "Although it is generally believe that recruitment confidence has further improved among companies in Hong Kong, employers may still be more cautious in planning their hiring plans which aligns with a rebound in unemployment rate. Local labour market hinges on uncertain external business environment especially in Europe and the United States on the back of high unemployment rate and sluggish economies. Softening growth in Mainland economy is also a variable to the labour market. In addition, an increase in labour supply due to the entry of school-leavers and graduates in this summer will further put more stress in the labour market. Therefore, companies should put more emphasis to review their manpower strategies to attract and retain talents during this fluctuating season to avoid loss of expertise and knowledge," Mr Mok concluded.
 

 

 

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[Please click here to download the press release together with the data charts]

 

 

 

 

About HKIHRM 

 

As the most representative professional human resource institute in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), a non-profit making organisation, has over 4,900 individual and corporate members. Founded in February 1977, the Institute aims at developing, maintaining and enhancing professional standards in HR management, and increasing the perceived value and influence of the HR profession. The Institute organises a wide range of professional activities such as multi-level training programmes and conferences, and provides services such as conducting surveys and publishing a professional journal. The HKIHRM is a member of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management which is one of the continental federations under the World Federation of People Management Associations. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.hkihrm.org.

 

 

 

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