Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.