Wed, Dec 14, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Hiring next year likely the weakest in Q1: US agency

STILL STRONG:ManpowerGroup’s Taiwan job outlook remained one the most optimistic among the 41 countries and territories it surveyed, unlike Greece and Hungary

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan is likely to see the weakest staffing demand in the first quarter of next year from the previous four quarters as financial turmoil in Europe and uncertainty about the global economy continue to drag on employers’ hiring confidence, a report released yesterday by ManpowerGroup said.

Of the 1,003 employers polled this quarter, 29 percent said they would increase their staff in the coming quarter, 6 percent planned a decrease in hiring and 62 percent expected to maintain their current payrolls, the US employment services provider said in an e-mailed statement.

Using the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based employment agency’s “net employment outlook” gauge — calculated by subtracting the number of employers planning to reduce staffing from the number planning to hire — Taiwan’s reading stood at 30 percent for the three months ending March 31, down 5 percentage points from this quarter and also 8 percentage points lower than a year ago.

The nation’s net employment outlook for the first quarter of next year remains one of the most optimistic among the 41 countries and territories polled in the latest survey.

In the Asia-Pacific region, employers in India and Taiwan showed they had the strongest hiring intentions for the first three months of next year, while globally, employers in India, Brazil and Taiwan said they were most positive on staffing demand for the quarter, it said.

The US agency’s survey was compared with a similar poll released by the Council of Labor Affairs last week, which showed 25.28 percent of 3,007 Taiwanese employers polled between late October and early last month saying they would increase recruitment in the upcoming quarter, while only 4.96 percent planned to reduce hiring.

The council’s survey showed local businesses would have staffing demand of 48,212 people in the coming quarter, which was lower than the 63,000 people needed for this quarter and posed the lowest figure in two years.

“Taiwan is at the center of a global economy and our employers can’t help but be affected by events that happen elsewhere in the world,” Terence Liu (劉玿廷), general manager of Manpower Services (Taiwan) Co (萬寶華), said in the e-mailed statement.

Worldwide, employers in 30 of 41 countries and territories in ManpowerGroup’s survey showed hiring was set to slow in the first quarter next year, with the weakest hiring expected in Greece, Hungary and Italy.

“Despite continuing investment on the part of many companies and full order books, Taiwanese employers look at the turmoil in the eurozone, as well as the uncertainty expressed by employers on the mainland [China], and they are sending signals that they intend to keep their businesses agile, responsive and competitive,” Liu said. “The moderate decline we see in Taiwan’s [net employment] outlook suggests that many employers are deliberately throttling back hiring and adding employees only when they absolutely have to.”

The survey found employers were most positive in the mining and construction sectors, where more than four out of 10 employers surveyed expressed intentions to increase hiring during the first three months of the year. In contrast, employers in the retail and wholesale trade reported the weakest staffing demand in the coming quarter for the third consecutive quarter, according to the survey.

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