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Taiwanese employers cautious about hiring in Q1 2019.

Employers in Taiwan are cautious about hiring in the first quarter of next year amid trade tension between the United States and China, according to U.S.-based advisory firm ManpowerGroup.

Citing the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, which collected 1,019 valid questionnaires from employers in Taiwan, the advisory firm said the net hiring outlook stood at 21 percent in the January-March period, unchanged from a quarter earlier but down 4 percentage points from the previous quarter and from a year earlier.

Despite this, Taiwan's first-quarter net hiring outlook was the second- highest among the eight economies in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan's 27 percent, the survey shows.

Hong Kong came in third in the Asia-Pacific region with a net hiring outlook at 18 percent, while China and Singapore were at the bottom with the net hiring outlook at 10 percent.

The poll, which reflects hiring confidence among employers, calculated the net employment outlook after seasonal adjustments by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating a decline in total employment from the percentage expecting an increase.

In the latest survey, about 22 percent of the employers polled in Taiwan said they plan to expand their workforce during the January-March period, while 4 percent said they will cut jobs and about 72 percent said they expect the size of their workforce to remain the same.

In the first quarter, local enterprises with a workforce of 250 or more recorded the highest net hiring outlook of 26 percent, compared with 20 percent for employers with a workforce of 50-249, and 12 percent for firms hiring 10-49 workers, the survey shows.

The survey found that the transportation/warehousing/communication industry recorded the highest net hiring outlook among the major industries in Taiwan at 27 percent for the first quarter, up 5 percentage points from a quarter earlier and also up 6 percentage points from a year earlier.

ManpowerGroup said the strong hiring outlook of the industry reflected high hopes of rising demand ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, a traditional peak season for the industry, so that employers appeared more willing to hire to meet demand.

The manufacturing sector saw its net hiring outlook for the first quarter falling 2 percentage points from a quarter earlier and also down 12 percentage points from a year earlier to 21 percent, as many manufacturers preferred to hold a cautious attitude toward global demand amid the Washington-Beijing trade dispute, the survey shows.

With signs showing that global economic growth has been moderating, the net hiring outlook of the financial/insurance/real estate industry fell 3 percentage points from a quarter earlier and dropped 16 percentage points from a year earlier to 18 percent in the first quarter, ManpowerGroup said.

As for the retail/wholesale industry, the advisory firm said, the net employment outlook for the first quarter rose 3 percentage points from a quarter earlier to 18 percent, as retail business operators planned to hire, the survey found. But, the first-quarter figure was down 3 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the survey.

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Publication:Taiwan News (Taipei, Taiwan)
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Dec 15, 2018
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