Taiwan: Hiring Climate in Taiwan Remains Positive but Dips to Its Weakest Level in Nine Quarters

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Hiring intentions in Taiwan dip by moderate margins when compared to the prior three months and last year at this time. However, opportunities for job seekers are expected to remain positive through the end of December, and when compared to other employers across the globe optimism among Taiwanese employers is surpassed only by those in India. A vigorous hiring environment is expected in both the services and the finance, insurance and real estate sectors. Even in the mining and construction sector, where the forecast sinks to its weakest level since Quarter 1 2010, nearly three of every ten employers intend to add additional payrolls in the fourth quarter.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) for the fourth quarter 2015 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 1,125 employers in Taiwan. Within the services sector, a dynamic hiring pace is forecast to continue in the fourth quarter of 2015 with employers reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +44%. When compared with the previous quarter, hiring prospects remain relatively stable, and employers report a year-over-year improvement of 3 percentage points. “As for the services sector, employers in the information technology (IT) industry continue to look for professionals in e-commerce, mobile application development, and data analysis particularly,” said Terence Liu, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Taiwan, “also, due to greater promotion for tourism from the government, employers in hotels and other hospitality related enterprises are expecting to add more workforce for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” Terence said.

“In this sector employers in finance and insurance related industries are more positive than the previous quarter. Companies are expanding their business within Southeast Asia with supports from the government to the ‘Asia League’. Thus, they are looking forward to adding more staff, especially targeting those candidates with certificates and those with IT background or skills in related career fields,” Terence added. A booming finance, insurance and real estate labor market is forecast for the October-December time frame, with employers reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +41%. Hiring prospects are four percentage points stronger when compared with the previous quarter but declined by 11 percentage points year-over-year.

The mining and construction sector face the weakest labor market since 1Q 2010 in the coming quarter, with employers reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +23%. The Outlook declined 19 percentage points from the previous quarter and 17 percentage points year-over-year. Manufacturing job seekers can expect the weakest hiring pace since 4Q 2013, according to employers who report a Net Employment Outlook of +31% for the next three months. Hiring intentions decline considerably both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, decreasing by 9 and 13 percentage points, respectively.

Employers report optimistic hiring prospects for the October-December time frame. With 40% of employers expecting to increase staffing levels, 5% forecasting a decrease and 53% anticipating no change, the resulting Net Employment Outlook is +35%. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Outlook stands at +36%. Hiring intentions weaken both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, declining by four and five percentage points, respectively. The resulting Outlook is the weakest reported since the third quarter of 2013.

Despite employers reporting their least optimistic hiring plans in over two years, fourth-quarter prospects for Taiwan’s job seekers are expected to remain robust. Taiwan has the second highest Global Net Employment Outlook at +36% behind India (+41%). However, the region is also working to overcome talent shortages. The top five most difficult to fill positions are sales representative, technician, engineer, researcher (research and development) and production or machine operators according to the ManpowerGroup 2015 Talent Shortage Survey. Also mentioned in the top ten jobs employers have difficulty filling are IT personnel. This will affect employer’s abilities to engage qualified IT professionals, within the services sector but also across other sectors. Scarcity will certainly drive up the pay rate needed to attract high-quality skilled talent throughout the Asian Pacific region where the lack of appropriately talented IT candidates has become a growing concern.