Hong Kong's Hiring Intentions Remain Positive for Q3 2013

A positive outlook was recorded for hiring intentions for Q3 across different business sectors as more surveyed companies indicated an intention to increase hiring compared with Q2.


The labour market situation was reflected by the findings in the Quarterly Survey on Manpower Statistics – Second Quarter 2013 conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM).


“Staff turnover in general starts to climb after the Chinese New Year," says Francis Mok, President of the HKIHRM. "In Q2, a ten year high record was obtained. This may have fully reflected the vibrant labour market in the city, where a continuously low unemployment rate has been recorded for a certain period of time."


Mok notes that some sectors, including construction/property development/real estate,retail and restaurant/catering continued to report relatively higher staff turnover and job vacancy rates in our manpower statistic survey.


"While labour shortage is the order of the day in Hong Kong, these labour-intensive sectors may be facing even greater pressure on staff attraction and retention,” adds Mok.


Staff Turnover
The top three sectors with the highest turnover rate are construction/property development/real estate (10.6%); retail (8.7%); and restaurant/catering (7.9%).


In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest turnover rate (6.7%, a continuous trend since Q2 2007).


The top three sectors with the highest vacancy rate retail (9.8%); restaurant/catering (8.2%); and community/social/personal services (6.7%).In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest vacancy rate at 5.6%.


Position Growth/Cut
The net growth in new positions during Q2 2013 was 1.1% (weighted average), 0.2 percentage point higher than Q1 2013 and Q2 2012 (both at 0.9%).


Top three sectors with the highest net growth in job positions are business services/professional services (3.7%); restaurant/catering (2.2%); financial services/banking/insurance (2.1%).


In terms of employee level, middle management/non-managerial professionals recorded the highest position growth rate at 2.1%.


Absence Rate
Among the 103 participating companies, 74 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 2013 was 1.6% (weighted average), 0.1 percentage point higher than Q1 2013 (1.5%) and 0.1 percentage point lower than Q2 2012 (1.7%).


Top three sectors with the highest absence rate are engineering (2.5%); community/social/personal services (2.1%); and transport/services allied to transport (storage) (1.9%).


In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest absence rate at 2.2% (a continuous trend since Q3 2009).


Hiring Intentions for Q3 2013
Among the 103 participating companies, 100 companies provided data on their hiring intentions for Q3 2013.


The top five sectors reporting strongest intentions to increase hiring are restaurant/catering (75%); telecommunication (50%); other business activities (45.5%); transport/services allied to transport (storage) (40%); and retail (30%).


In general, positive hiring sentiment was recorded for Q3 with 86% surveyed companies indicating an intention to hire. Some sectors with lower hiring intentions in Q2 recorded more positive hiring sentiment in this quarter such as manufacturing, wholesale/import/export/ trading/distribution, and retail.


"All in all, hiring intentions hinge on business conditions and global economic environment. The direction of the United States monetary policy is still a global concern, which can change the economic climate drastically and may pose significant challenges to employers and HR professionals,” concludes Mok.

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