Wed, Sep 12, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Service sector intends to increase workers: survey

STAFFING DEMANDS:Taiwan’s net employment outlook for the fourth quarter was the most optimistic among 42 countries polled in a US-based survey, but it was still low

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese employers in the service sector showed the strongest intention among six major industries to increase hiring in the fourth quarter, a survey released yesterday by ManpowerGroup showed.

However, the overall hiring prospects for the six industries weakened from the third quarter and from a year earlier, as employers expressed worries about the nation’s economy and labor-market conditions, according to the survey.

“Nearly half of employers in the service sector expect to add employees in the quarter ahead, with much of the growth still predicated on continuing demand from Chinese tourism,” ManpowerGroup Taiwan country manager Terence Liu (劉玿廷) said in a statement.

Based on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based employment agency’s “net employment outlook” gauge — calculated by subtracting the number of employers planning to reduce staff from the number planning to hire — the services industry registered 45 percent for the upcoming quarter, down 2 percentage points from this quarter, but up 9 percentage points from a year ago.

DEMAND

Apart from tourism, domestic restaurant chains such as 21 Century (21世紀風味館), operated by President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), as well as Pintian (品田牧場), 12 Sabu (石二鍋) and Su Food (舒果), run by Wowprime Corp (王品), also recently announced their hiring plans to cope with a growing demand during rapid business expansion, which is expected to provide thousands of jobs by the end of the year, companies said.

“The future development of the services sector is a general trend in Taiwan,” Liu said in the statement.

The service-sector employers’ positive hiring outlook was followed by their counterparts in the mining and construction sector, with a net employment outlook figure of 33 percent, while the finance, insurance and real-estate sector, the transportation and utilities sector and the manufacturing sector all reported the same figures of 29 percent.

In contrast, employers in the wholesale and retail trade sector have the weakest staffing demand for the final quarter of the year, with a net employment outlook figure of 27 percent, declining 4 percentage points quarter-on-quarter and 1 percentage point year-on-year, the survey showed.

POLICIES

Liu attributed the weak staffing demand in the wholesale and retail trade sector to government policies, such as increases in energy prices, which have negatively affected consumer spending and impacted employers’ hiring intentions.

OPTIMISTIC

Overall, Taiwan’s net employment outlook for the fourth quarter is the most optimistic among the 42 countries and territories polled in the survey, ManpowerGroup said, as Taiwan’s figures showed the slowest quarterly and yearly declines.

Of the 1,084 Taiwanese employers polled, 38 percent said they would increase their staff in the coming quarter, 4 percent planned a decrease and 58 percent expected to maintain their current payrolls, the survey showed.

However, Liu said the nation’s job prospects are trending weaker as employers scale back their hiring plans in response to a softer export market.

Moreover, if the hourly wage keeps on rising, employers may tend to hire fewer part-time workers, or encourage them to work full time, he added.

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