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Singapore's online hiring outlook "extremely positive"

Singapore's online hiring outlook

Singapore's job hiring outlook will be strong for the rest of the year, as 17% of local employers are planning to bring in staff soon, according to new data published by global employment enterprise Monster.

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By Noah L. Wilson 29.08.2018

Singapore's job hiring outlook will be strong for the rest of the year, as 17% of local employers are planning to bring in staff soon, according to new data published by global employment enterprise Monster.

Its Employment Index for the second quarter of 2018 shows an “extremely positive” outlook for online hiring as disruptive tech advances call for a new range of skills from workers. This trend will lead to robust demand for new hires during the second half of the year.

Employers in the finance and insurance industry are currently the most eager to bring in new talent, while Singapore’s banking and financial services sector is set to lead the way in hiring overall after logging the strongest activity during the three months to June, year-over-year.

"Considering the strong links between the finance and technology sector as well as Singapore’s position as a leader in emerging technologies, both industries continue to show solid and steady growth, which is expected to carry over until next year," the report noted.

Singapore has become a leading fintech hub in recent years, and it saw a marked increase in investment in this area between the first and second quarters of 2018. The report said that Singapore has seen advantages from “favorable regulatory initiatives” that have supported innovation and economic growth.

The country’s commitment to being open to business and fostering a friendly environment with appropriate regulations has helped to establish the country as a “first port of call” for those looking to make investments in emerging and wider Asia. The report said that more stringent laws and tax regulations, such as those implemented in Thailand, can impede foreign investment.

Singapore’s gross domestic output (GDP) growth outlook is healthy, with OECD expecting it to expand by around 2.3% each year between now and 2022. The report said that manufacturing and trade-related services have both been key growth drivers, but the positive long-term picture is also due to digital transformation across various industries and the government’s desire to increase spending on infrastructure projects.

It added: “Thanks to that investment, Singapore has managed to manifest the digital economy as a major contributor to its output. However, it’s essential to leverage worker skills in order to retain its leadership position in the region."

Meanwhile, the rising Singapore dollar has fueled speculation that the central bank may intervene again and increase the exchange rate for the second time this year. The currency could soon move into the upper boundary of its trading bond after it soared to a record high against a basket of currencies last week.

The bank pivoted toward a strengthening bias earlier in the year to keep the currency in check, but this has had little impact thus far, and core consumer prices grew at the fastest rate for four years last month. This means that there is now growing pressure to combat inflation.

"The latest round of core inflation prints continue to be firm," OCBC Bank Economist Terence Wu said. "It may add to further speculation for another round of policy tightening by the MAS in October."

Core inflation acceleration also hit four-year highs in July, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) now expecting the measure to close the year in between 1.5% and 2%. The average thus far has been 1.6%, and some experts believe that the central bank may opt against tightening policy as it remains comfortably within the forecast range.

The China-US trade conflict could also be a “swing factor,” according to Westpac Banking Corp.’s Head of Macro Strategy for Asia, Frances Cheung, who expects a “very mild tightening” at the central bank’s next review in October.

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