Jobs outlook positive across entire nation

Updated: 2013-09-10 23:41

By YU RAN (China Daily)

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In Q4, 16% of employers will boost staff while 2% will reduce workers

Chinese employers forecast modest hiring trends in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the newly released Employment Outlook Survey from ManpowerGroup.

For the final quarter of the year, 16 percent of employers expect to increase their staffing levels, while only 2 percent plan to decrease the number of workers. And 46 percent of Chinese employers said they wouldn’t make any changes to their current workforces in the next three months, which is 1 percentage point stronger quarter-over-quarter and 3 percentage points stronger year-over-year.

Jobs outlook positive across entire nation

Jobseekers at an employment fair in Mengcheng, Anhui province. A survey has found that the employment outlook is positive in the fourth quarter of this year as the economy recovers.HU WEIGUO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chinese employers also expect to grow staffing levels in all six industry sectors and all nine regions.

"The current business climate is putting pressure on China’s labor market, while the impetus to drive domestic demand growth remains insufficient. Employers still expect hiring to continue at a steady, but not spectacular, pace, in the quarter ahead despite China’s promising market signals," said Zhang Jinrong, managing director of ManpowerGroup China.

In order to help out small and micro enterprises suffering financial problems, the Chinese government suspended value-added tax and turnover tax for these businesses with monthly sales of less than 20,000 yuan ($3,226) in late July.

"In order to boost employment, the policy is expected to benefit more than 6 million small companies and boost the employment and income for tens of millions of people," said Zhang.

Zhang added that China would continue to keep its macro-control policies stable and accelerate the shutdown of outdated facilities.

Its Employment Outlook Survey, covering the fourth quarter of the year, said the net employment outlook — which compared hiring and layoff figures — for the Chinese industrial sectors was +13 percent, meaning more employers planned to increase than cut staff, a figure that remained unchanged quarterly and dropped 1 percentage point annually.

The survey showed that most positive hiring activity is anticipated in the wholesale and retail sectors, with an outlook of +15 percent, while the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, as well as the manufacturing sector remain strong, all with outlooks of +14 percent.

"We have been expanding the number of employees throughout the whole year because we are planning to enlarge our e-commerce department to switch our focus to online platforms with a more talented labor force in the next three months," said Wang Hailong, public relation officer of Aokang Group, a Wenzhou-based shoemaker that has strategic cooperation partners in Europe, including Geox and Valleverde.

Aokang has more than 10,000 employees with a quite low staff turnover rate of 5 percent.

"Apart from the expansion, the regular recruitment work of the company has been growing in order to catch up with the gradual economic recovery of the country," said Wang.

China offices of foreign-based companies have also been hiring in large numbers.

"The average number of employees we hire in China is about 100 every quarter and we’ve already recruited nearly 200 people since July in the third quarter," said Li Jun, director of human resources at Cardinal Health China, the China office of a US-based global pharmaceuticals wholesaler.

Li added that the recruitment plan for the final quarter definitely would be higher than the same period last year.

The outlook of the finance, insurance and real estate sector increased 10 percentage points quarterly. This three-month margin of growth is the largest among the six industry sectors.

"As China looks to transform its growth model, the government recently laid out guidelines to ensure that the financial sector supports its economic rebalancing efforts," said Zhang.

Employers from all regions and cities surveyed anticipate positive hiring activity in the final quarter. Employers in four regions all report favorable hiring intentions. The most optimistic outlook is reported in the northern regions, where the outlook is +13 percent.

ManpowerGroup interviewed 4,219 employers in the Chinese mainland to measure their intentions between October and December 2013.