HK’s Overall Average Staff Turnover Rate at 10.5% in Second Half of 2016

Hong Kong’s overall average staff turnover rate for the second half of 2016 was 10.5%, a marginal increase of 0.3 percentage point from 10.2% in the first half of 2016, according to the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management’s (HKIHRM) Second Half Yearly Survey on Manpower Statistics in 2016.

The job vacancy rate in the second half of 2016 rose 1.4 percentage points to 6.6% from 5.2% in the first half of 2016. On hiring intention for the first six months of 2017, the majority of companies remained positive despite economic uncertainties.

The top three sectors with the highest staff turnover rate in 2016 were construction/property development/real estate (18.2%); retail (13.4%); and business services/professional services (11.5%).

The top three sectors with the lowest staff turnover rate are manufacturing (6.4%); electricity/gas/petrol (2.6%); and transport/services allied to transport (storage) (2.0%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest turnover rate in the second half of 2016 at 14.2% while the lowest turnover rate was recorded for top/senior management at 4.0%.

Job vacancies

The top three sectors with the highest job vacancy rate retail (12%); business services/professional services (11.5%); and community/social/personal services (10.8%).

The top three sectors with the lowest job vacancy rate are electricity/gas/petrol (2.4%); transport/services allied to transport (storage) (1.9%); and financial services/banking/insurance (1.8%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest job vacancy rate in the second half of 2016 at 7.7% while top/senior management registered the lowest job vacancy rate at 2.1%.

Position growth and cut

The net growth in new positions for the second half of 2016 was 0.5%, down 1.3 percentage points when compared with the first half of 2016.

The top three business sectors with the highest net growth in new positions are financial services/banking/insurance (6.8%); manufacturing (4.3%); and electricity/gas/petrol (1.8%).

In terms of employee level, positions for middle management/non-managerial professionals recorded the highest net growth in the second half of 2016 at 1.3% while positions at clerical/frontline level had the lowest net growth at 0.3%.

Absence rate

Among the 76 participating companies in the survey, 57 companies provided data on staff absence. In the survey, “absence” is defined as unscheduled absence of one or more than one day including sick leave (paid or no paid), emergency leave, and casual leave.

The overall absence rate in the second half of 2016 was 2.1%, 0.2 percentage point lower than the first half of 2016, and 0.4 percentage point higher from a year earlier.

The top four business sectors with the highest absence rate are construction/property development/real estate (2.5%); transport/services allied to transport (storage) (2.2%); electricity/gas/petrol (2.2%); and financial services/Banking/Insurance (2.1%).

In terms of employee level, the clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest absence rate at 2.8%, compared with supervisory/officer at 1.6%, middle management/non managerial professionals at 1.2% and top/senior management at 0.8%.

Hiring intentions

Seventy-two percent of all the 76 participating companies in the survey indicated to maintain hiring in the first half of 2017 at a level similar to that in the second half of 2016, an increase of 12.4 percentage points from the second half of 2016.

By business sector, business services/professional services (40%); financial services/banking/insurance (33.3%); and telecommunication (25%) were the top three sectors with the strongest intention to increase hiring in the first half of 2017, while manufacturing, and business services/professional services, and retail were among the sectors that will freeze hiring in the first half of 2017.

Only 3.9% of the employers surveyed will reduce hiring in the first six months of 2017.

“Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has remained at the level of 3.3% since the end of 2016, which can be regarded as full employment, with the employment situation steadily improving since the end of 2016, especially in sectors such as property and real estate, retail and tourism-related industries,” says David Li, President of the HKIHRM.

According to the HKIHRM’s latest Manpower Statistics Survey findings, retail and business services/professional services were among the highest in terms of turnover rate and job vacancy rate in the second half of 2016, indicating a fluid employment market.

Employers’ hiring intention in the first half of 2017 remains stable. Individual industries such as business services/professional services, and financial services/banking/insurance show the strongest hiring intention in the first half of 2017.

Only a small fraction of the employers surveyed (3.9%) indicated they will reduce hiring in the first half of 2017.

In general, employers are fundamentally optimistic about Hong Kong’s labour market situation which will remain steady in the near term.

Job seekers will face a keen competition in finding employment when new graduates enter the job market in the coming months.

“Looking ahead, external uncertainties surrounding Hong Kong’s economy such as the pace of US interest rate hikes and trade protectionism will continue to affect consumer sentiment, business confidence, and employment outlook in Hong Kong,” says Li.

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