Employment prospects next year gloomy: survey

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 - Page 14

Businesses’ demand for new employees next year may slow from this year, as they are cautious about the nation’s economic prospects, a report by 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行) showed yesterday.

“More domestic firms are maintaining a conservative view on their business next year, forcing them to cut recruitment and delay hiring,” 104 Job Bank project manager Pola Chang (張雅惠) said by telephone yesterday.

About 60 percent of firms have a downbeat outlook for the economy next year, while 30 percent expect sentiment to remain flat and only 10 percent are upbeat, according to the online manpower agency’s survey conducted from Oct. 20 to Nov. 25.

The survey showed two-thirds of companies still have hiring plans next year, while 18 percent said they would freeze hiring and 6 percent may look at downsizing.

Demand for staff in the health and environmental sanitary industries topped the list, as more than 80 percent of companies in the two sectors plan to recruit new employees next year, the survey showed.

Job openings in sales and customer service are expected to account for more than a third of overall demand at local firms next year, the highest level among all job categories, the survey showed.

Due to sluggish economic sentiment, Chang said firms may replace regular job openings with part-time and temporary jobs to raise their employment flexibility and control human resources costs.

Even if the global economy improves next year, the flexible trend in hiring would continue, she added.

The latest government data, released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday, confirmed that hiring more part-time and temporary workers has become a trend in recent years.

As of the end of May, part-time and temporary workers totaled 736,000, up 0.29 percentage points from the same period last year, the DGBAS report showed.

The figure translated into 6.79 percent of all jobs as of the end of May, when a total of 10.83 million people were employed, the report showed.