Graduates luck out with more job vacancies

Local | Wallis Wang 9 Jun 2021

Fresh graduates will have a better chance of finding jobs this year, a headhunter has said.

However, the average starting salary remains unchanged at HK$15,000, a survey conducted by ManpowerGroup finds.

Lancy Chui Yuk-shan, senior vice president at ManpowerGroup Greater China, said job vacancies are up 3 percent compared to a year ago.

She also said companies are undergoing a digital transformation and graduates with IT knowledge would earn higher starting salaries ranging from HK16,000 to HK$18,000.

The survey also found that 26 percent of employers expect to hire more staff, while 25 percent forecast a decrease in manpower. Some 28 percent assume there would be no change and the remaining 21 percent were uncertain.

This would result in a net employment outlook - the percentage of companies planning to increase manpower subtracted by those planning to reduce headcounts - of zero percent after seasonal adjustments.

Although the net outlook improved slightly, it was still the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region according to the group's statistics.

But Chui said the need to hire has increased in some sectors such as construction and mining, insurance and real estate, finance and services.

"We see banks expanding their presence with relationship managers, private bankers teams and frontline roles to tap the growing demand for wealth management services," Chui said.

"Buoyant housing demand and a consistently low-interest rate environment have boosted new property sales. Property agencies are raising their headcounts to capture a massive rebound in sales."

But Chui said the poll also found that transport-sector employers planned to downsize, as the net employment outlook was minus 1 percent.

"The Hong Kong aviation industry is still facing an uncertain future since inbound tourism remains in the doldrums."

She added that the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.8 percent to 6.4 percent in the past three months as the pandemic eased, but it would still take a while for recovery to take hold.

Job seekers should look for short-term vacancies for now to improve skills, Chui suggested, as more firms are hiring contractors.

"If the local epidemic condition remains under control, the pressure on the labor market might gradually ease, especially for consumer-facing industries. We continue to see positive progress across industries."

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June 2021

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