Employers’ Intentions to Hire Remain Steady for Q3 2012

(Wednesday, September 12, 2012)

For Immediate Release
Employers’ Intentions to Hire Remain Steady for Q3 2012
Catering and construction sectors see stronger staff movement in Q2
 
 
[12 September 2012 – Hong Kong] The labour market is expected to remain healthy as more than 80% surveyed companies indicated that they would remain hiring or increase hiring in Q3 2012. The latest labour market situation was reflected by the findings in the Quarterly Survey on Manpower Statistics – Second Quarter 2012 conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM).
 
Conducted since 2002 to collect data on a quarterly basis, the HKIHRM Quarterly Survey on Manpower Statistics regularly tracks manpower movement in Hong Kong’s labour market. A total of 111 companies participated in the Q2 2012 (April to June) survey conducted in July 2012, covering 98,531 employees. Key data obtained from the survey include hiring intentions, staff turnover, job vacancy, position growth/cut and staff absence rate.
 
Mr Francis Mok, President of the HKIHRM, said, “In the past few months, we observed a continuous slowdown in Hong Kong’s economic growth. For instance, Gross Domestic Product grew at 1.1% only in Q2, and the value of total exports of goods for the May to July period decreased by 3.7% when compared with the preceding three months. Yet the labour market was doing well with a very low unemployment rate at 3.2% for May to July. According to the Institute’s survey, both staff turnover and job vacancy rates rose slightly in Q2 2012 when compared with the first three months of this year. Stronger labour demand was seen in sectors like catering, construction and retail, which were experiencing significantly higher turnover rates of nearly 10% or above. Retaining and engaging talents is both a pressing need and an imminent challenge particularly for these sectors.”
 
Key findings of the survey are as follows:
 
Staff Turnover and Job Vacancy [Chart 1]
 
 
Percentage
(weighted average)
 
Trend
Staff turnover
 
5.0%
-          1.7 percentage points higher than Q1 2012 (3.3%)
-          0.7 percentage point higher than Q2 2011 (4.3%)
Job vacancy
4.4%
 
-          0.1 percentage point higher than Q1 2012 (4.3%)
-          0.8 percentage point lower than Q2 2011 (5.2%)
 
 
 
 
Staff Turnover
·            The top three sectors with the highest turnover rate: [Chart 2]
-          restaurant/catering (19.8%)
-          construction/property development/real estate(11.7%)
-          other business activities (10.6%)
 
·            In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest turnover rate (5.9%, a continuous trend since Q2 2007). [Chart 3]
 
Vacancy
·            The top three sectors with the highest vacancy rate: [Chart 2]
-          restaurant/catering (9.0%)
-          community/social/personal services (8.4%)
-          construction/property development/real estate (7.6%)
 
·            In terms of employee level, middle management/non-managerial professionals staff recorded the highest vacancy rate at 4.4%. [Chart 3]
 
 
Position Growth/Cut
·            The net growth in new positions during Q2 2012 was 0.9% (weighted average), 0.1 percentage point higher than both Q1 2012 (0.8%) and Q2 2011 (0.8%). [Chart 4]
 
·            The top three sectors with the highest net growth in job positions: [Chart 5]
-          diversified conglomerates (2.3%)
-          restaurant/catering (2.2%)
-          retail (2.0%)
 
·            In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest position growth rate (1.2%). [Chart 6]
 
 
Absence Rate
Among the 111 participating companies, 68 companies provided data on staff absence. In the survey, “absence” is defined as unscheduled absences of one or more than one day including sick leave (paid or no paid), emergency leave and casual leave.
 
·           The absence rate in Q2 2012 was 1.7% (weighted average), 0.2 percentage point lower than Q1 2012 (1.9%). [Chart 7]
 
·           The top three sectors with the highest absence rate: [Chart 8]
-          retail (2.4%)
-          manufacturing (2.1%)
-          other business activities (2.0%)
 
·         In terms of employee level, the clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest absence rate (2.2%, a continuous trend since Q3 2009). [Chart 9]
 
 
 
 
Hiring Intentions in Q3 2012
Among the 111 participating companies, 108 companies provided data on their hiring intentions in Q3 2012.
 
Hiring Intention
% of Companies
Trend (higher or lower than Q2 2012)
remain hiring as of Q2 2012
59.3%
-         1.4 percentage points higher
increase hiring
23.1%
-         1.9 percentage points lower
freeze hiring
13.9%
-         0.6 percentage points lower
reduce hiring
3.7%
-         1.1 percentage points higher
 
·         The top five sectors reporting strongest intentions to increase hirings are: [Chart 10]
 
-   construction/property development/real estate (44.4%)
-   business services/professional services (33.3%)
-   hotel (33.3%)
-   retail (33.3%)
-  transport/services allied to transport (storage) (33.3%)
 
 
Conclusion
 
“According to the survey results, more than 80% respondents indicated that their companies would remain hiring or increase hiring owing to actual manpower needs. This is particularly prominent in the construction/property development/real estate, business services/professional services, hotel and retail sectors. Comparatively weaker hiring intentions were expressed by companies in sectors like wholesale/import/export/trading/distribution, but the overall labour market sentiment is still positive. Although employers may continue to be cautious in the near term amid worries about the domestic economy, and about a lack of signs of noticeable improvement in the global economy, the job market may not be adversely affected. HR professionals may still have difficulty in finding the right talents to fill their companies’ vacancies,” concluded Mr Mok.

 
-  END -
 
 
 
  
 
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 more than 4,800 members, with 560 of whom being 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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