Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Jun 03, 2023

Hong Kong’s employers are in the mood for hiring as visitors return

Hong Kong’s employers are in the mood for hiring as visitors return

The rush to fill vacancies pushed the city’s unemployment rate down to a three-year low of 3.3 per cent during the December-to-February rolling period, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

Hong Kong companies are back in the mood to hire, especially in the consumer and information technology sectors, as the city embarks on its economic recovery following the border reopening with mainland China, according to a report by KPMG.

Two in five senior executives in Hong Kong expect to increase their headcount this year, according to KPMG’s salary outlook survey, which polled over 1,300 professionals across six sectors in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The six sectors covered in the January survey were consumer markets, information technology (IT), financial services, professional services, real estate and the civil service.

“The worst time of the pandemic is already behind us,” said Peter Shiu Ka-fai, who represents the retail industry constituency in Hong Kong’s legislature. “There is a strong demand to hire more people, and the manpower crunch is one of our biggest challenges. A [salary premium] of up to 20 per cent is no surprise for companies trying to attract new hires.”

A troupe of tourists from mainland China at the Avenue of the Stars promenade at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on 15 March 2023.

The rush to fill vacancies pushed the city’s unemployment rate down to a three-year low of 3.3 per cent during the December-to-February rolling period, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

The consumer market sector, which covers restaurants and cafes, retail shops and hotels, is most in need of hiring, with 45 per cent of employers hanging up the “hiring” sign, compared with 28 per cent last year, KPMG said. Frontline staff and customer-facing roles are most urgently in need of filing, the survey said.

A food court in Hong Kong on December 29, 2022 after local authorities scrapped a mandatory vaccine test, and abolished a limit on the number of people who can congregate in public.

Staff in the consumer market sector were also better paid, receiving 2.4 months’ wages as bonus on average in 2022, up from 1.5 months in 2021, KPMG said. The industry benefited from the easing of social-gathering restrictions in Hong Kong and the distribution of consumption vouchers by the government, KPMG said.

A government initiative to pump HK$550 million (US$70.5 million) into throwing mega events from the performing arts to sports events and conferences – as well as a “Hello Hong Kong” charm offensive – also helped to attract business and leisure travellers back, bringing relief to the consumer sector, the survey said.

Uniqlo, the Japanese fast-fashion chain, raised the salary of 2,400 of its Hong Kong-based employees by up to 24 per cent in February, underscoring the dire need for labour as the city braced for the return of shoppers.

Visitor numbers to Hong Kong rose to 1.46 million last month, the first time the monthly data had surpassed the 1 million mark since the Covid-19 pandemic was first reported in 2020.

Uniqlo’s outlet in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay shopping district on 9 March 2018.

The IT sector is also experiencing a boom, after local authorities promised HK$16 billion in funding to turn Hong Kong into a global innovation and technology hub, featuring investments in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technology health and life science.

Over 83 per cent of IT employees expect salary increases this year, compared with 62 per cent last year, KPMG said.

“We see a gap, as people in their late 20s to early 40s are emigrating out of Hong Kong,” said Jerry Chang, managing director of executive search firm Barons & Company. “There’s an obvious [need] for middle-ranking managers because of emigration and lack of skilled talent among engineers or software engineers, so [there is] pressure to increase salaries for certain positions.”

An interactive digital display of the Nautic Quest programme at the St Stephens’ College in Hong Kong’s Stanley district on 9 May 2018.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left a severe labour shortage in its wake, as people all over the world reconsider their life and job choices. For an immigrant society like Hong Kong, three years of harsh quarantine rules and closed borders have made it particularly hard for expatriates, putting further weight on employers that rely on overseas talent.

“Expatriates returning home, and reduced numbers being seconded into Hong Kong contributed to the tightening of the talent pool in Hong Kong,” said Murray Sarelius, head of people services at KPMG.

Still, the financial sector is less optimistic when it comes to hiring and bonuses, as the world of brokers and investment bankers are yet to recover from the drought of deals, initial public offerings and acquisitions during the pandemic.

Only 35 per cent of financial sector respondents expect to see more hires this year, KPMG said, in contrast to Mercer’s report in November that found Hong Kong’s bankers looking for a 4.5-per cent raise in 2023.

AI Disclaimer: An advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system generated the content of this page on its own. This innovative technology conducts extensive research from a variety of reliable sources, performs rigorous fact-checking and verification, cleans up and balances biased or manipulated content, and presents a minimal factual summary that is just enough yet essential for you to function as an informed and educated citizen. Please keep in mind, however, that this system is an evolving technology, and as a result, the article may contain accidental inaccuracies or errors. We urge you to help us improve our site by reporting any inaccuracies you find using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page. Your helpful feedback helps us improve our system and deliver more precise content. When you find an article of interest here, please look for the full and extensive coverage of this topic in traditional news sources, as they are written by professional journalists that we try to support, not replace. We appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
The driver has been described by authorities as a 21-year-old woman from Tallahassee
Joe Biden falls at the Air Force Graduation
America's Got Talent…
Elon Musk has been showered with praise by the Chinese public during his trip to China
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
Drone Attack on Moscow's Wealthiest Neighborhoods Suspected to be Launched by Ukraine
Elon Musk Meets Chinese Finance Minister in Beijing
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
Chinese fighter jet buzzes U.S. Air Force spy plane over South China Sea
Prominent Hacker Forum RaidForums Suffers Substantial Data Breach
Nvidia CEO Huang says firms, individuals without AI expertise will be left behind
WPP Revolutionizes Advertising with NVIDIA's AI Powerhouse
Two US Employees Fired For Chasing Robbers Out Of Store As They Broke ''Company Policy''
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Ukrainian Intelligence Official Admits to Assassination Attempts on Putin
WATCH THIS: democracy in Russia is so bad!
Ed Davey: It is possible for a woman to have a penis
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Steve Jobs introducing Apple's iPhone, exactly 16 years ago.
Banking Behemoth vs Ex-Boss: The PMorgan-Epstein Entanglement
China overtakes Japan as world's top car exporter
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
The official tapes of Trump's deposition in the E. Jean Carroll battery (rape) and defamation case have been released.
King Charles III being crowned.
Newly released video of Donald Trump’s rape trial deposition:
Video: Ukraine MP Punches Russian Representative At Global Meet
El Paso mayor has declared a state of emergency
Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Kremlin with drones in an attempt to kill Putin
Dutch court orders man who fathered 550 kids to stop donating sperm
Kim Kardashian Lookalike Christina Ashten Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, Hours After Plastic Surgery
Samsung has banned employees from using generative AI services such as ChatGPT
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became