Hong Kong employers expect to increase staffing levels between this month and June, with finance, insurance and real estate the most optimistic sectors, a study has found.
The "Manpower Employment Outlook Survey", conducted every quarter, interviewed some 64,000 employers worldwide to calculate the net outlook in 39 countries. More than 800 Hong Kong companies took part in the second quarter survey, with 21 per cent expecting to increase staffing levels.
The net employment outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating a rise and subtracting from this the percentage expecting a decline in employment at their location in the next quarter. This quarter's net employment outlook in Hong Kong is +19 per cent, with 21 per cent of interviewees expecting a rise in employment and 2 per cent seeing a decline.
The finance, insurance and real estate sectors have a combined net employment outlook of +23 per cent, the highest among the other five sectors - manufacturing, mining and construction, services, transportation and utilities, and wholesale and retail.
The services and the mining and construction sectors rank second with a net outlook of +21 per cent. Optimistic employment forecast is also noted across the region.
Although Hong Kong's overall employment prospects have remained steady, the minimum-wage policy implemented in May, along with the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster, have made an impact on particular industries, says Lancy Chui, managing director of Manpower Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam.
The implementation of the statutory minimum wage is a financial consideration for employers on whether to hire more staff, especially in restaurants, transportation and property management fields. The policy will have a significant impact on the cost of doing business for many small-scale operators, Chui adds.
The Japanese disaster may affect the hiring confidence of Hong Kong companies engaged in the import and sale of Japanese food, Chui says. Travel operators, carriers and even promoters will also be affected.