1 in 3 firms plans to raise head count next year: Survey

A new survey has found that 36 per cent of firms here plan to hire more staff next year.

Also, 60 per cent of these companies were looking to recruit at middle-management level, pointing at three sectors with the most promising prospects for new hires.

"Digital, technology and healthcare are likely to be the country's fastest-growing industries due to the Government's pledged efforts to boost investment in these sectors," said Mr Anthony Thompson, regional managing director of Greater China, South-east Asia and India at recruitment firm Michael Page, which conducted the poll.

"As a result, employers across these three sectors are likely to continue hiring actively, though recruitment efforts will largely focus on filling niche roles."

Michael Page polled close to 450 bosses across various industries in September and October.

But the outlook is less bright for the economy at large. The long-term unemployment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents rose from 0.6 per cent in September last year to 0.8 per cent in the same month this year, according to the Manpower Ministry last week.

The last time the long-term unemployment rate was so high was during the 2009 global financial crisis.

The Michael Page survey also found that 63 per cent of companies expect to offer employees a 1 to 5 per cent salary increase over the next 12 months. In fact, 55 per cent noted that salary increases were the most important factor in attracting and retaining talent.

Marissa Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline '1 in 3 firms plans to raise head count next year: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe