Singaporeans upbeat about job market

Singaporeans are not more confident in the local job market as compared to the latter half of last year.

Singaporeans upbeat about job market

Singaporeans are now more confident in the local job market than they were in the latter half of last year, says a global workforce survey by Singapore-based recruitment firm Berkley Group.

Of the 869 Singaporean professionals polled, 64 per cent said they believed there were enough or more than enough opportunities in the local job market.

Just over a third (36 per cent) felt that the job market here was still weak - down 14 per cent from the third quarter last year, when Berkley last did the survey.

The 36 per cent figure is lower than the global average of 41 per cent.

Berkley Singapore chief executive Steve Greenwood said the figures could be a reflection of "the inherent resilience of the Singaporean worker".

But while the respondents were upbeat about their individual prospects in the job market here, they were less so about their companies' prospects.

Some 27 per cent of them thought their companies were faring worse than a year ago, against a lower global average of 20 per cent.

A quarter of these local professionals said they thought their companies were doing better than a year ago, 10 per cent less than the global average. Berkley suggested that this could be a sign that confidence in corporate performances here is still lagging behind that in many other countries.

Nevertheless, market sentiments here still seem relatively positive: 68 per cent of the respondents said the eurozone crisis was not affecting their companies. Globally, the average is 53 per cent.

Mr Greenwood said: "This suggests that, although it may be a competitive market, many businesses in Singapore have been able to weather the economic storm."

Berkley pointed out, however, that employers could do more to build higher levels of job security, which is slightly behind that of other countries. While 65 per cent of global participants said they were either not worried or less worried about job security, only 59 per cent of Singaporean respondents felt so.

Singapore Human Resources Institute executive director David Ang told The Business Times that employers here could take two steps to raise their employees' job security:

Firstly, companies should make forward-looking business projections and then communicate these to their employees to convince them that the business is viable.

Secondly, companies should also practise good human resource management by actively seeking to provide opportunities for career development, overseas stints and job rotations to their employees.

Such moves foster a greater sense of rootedness, and may be advised, given that three quarters of the Singaporean professionals polled said they were planning to move jobs in the next six months.

The figure was, however, not much different from the 79 per cent from the last survey.

This figure was also high in India (also 75 per cent), the UAE (82 per cent) and Malaysia (91 per cent); globally, only 58 per cent plan to change jobs this year.

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