Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan reports weak employer demand

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

For the second straight quarter, Taiwan reported the weakest staffing demand in the Asia-Pacific region with little sign of the situation picking up, according to a report released yesterday.

Of the 1,372 employers polled, 24 percent said they plan to increase their staff in the coming quarter, 9 percent expect a decrease in hiring and 55 percent plan to maintain their current payrolls, said Dennis Lee (李崇領), general manager of Manpower Services (Taiwan) Co, during a press briefing.

This results in a "net employment outlook" figure -- calculated by subtracting the number of employers planning to reduce staffing levels from the number planning to hire staff -- of 15 percent, compared to 14 percent in the current quarter and 22 percent year-on-year, the report said.

Singapore and India showed the strongest hiring demand in the Asia-Pacific region, with net employment outlook shooting to 44 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

"The public is not that optimistic about the economy," Lee said, explaining Taiwan's poor performance.

Of the representatives of the six major industries interviewed in the poll, those in the mining and construction sectors reported the strongest hiring intentions for the next quarter at 23 percent, driven by the booming real estate market.

"With the prospects of launching direct links with China approaching, the number of new housing projects is expected to continue to surge next year and the demand for real estate personnel will climb as well," Lee said.

In contrast, the transportation and utilities sectors will have the weakest staffing demand during the next quarter at 5 percent, as the upcoming high-speed rail system would impact on conservative aviation and railway operators, he said.

The other four segments -- the finance, insurance and real estate sectors (14 percent); manufacturing (10 percent); the service sector (18 percent); and wholesale and retail trade (10 percent) -- all reported lower "net employment outlook" figures from a year ago, according to the report.

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