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Job market predicted to touch new low

EMPLOYMENT on Chinese mainland for the third quarter will cool to a five-quarter low due to the impact of the global economic downturn, according to a quarterly survey released by Manpower Inc yesterday.

But expectations are falling more slowly than the previous quarter, thanks to the government's fiscal stimulus package, said the report, based on interviews with 4,026 employers on the mainland.

Companies in the steel, automobile, finance and transport industries were likely to hire more employees in the coming months, in response to industry adjustments and revitalization plans issued by the State Council, the report said.

"There were some optimistic signs. But whether confidence in the whole labor market can be lifted depends on how the economy changes in the second half of this year," said Wu Ruoxuan, Manpower Greater China's managing director.

Eleven percent of HR respondents surveyed in 13 cities said they will expand head counts, while 9 percent said they would cut staff.

The report claimed 66 percent of employers said they would maintain current staffing plans - 10 percent higher than the previous quarter.

"The fact that more companies expect to keep current staff levels rather than cut them shows market confidence is becoming more stable," said Zhu Yijuan, from Manpower.

Hiring in the service industry was the most robust. Finance and insurance, mining and construction and the transport industries also showed stronger hiring prospects compared to the previous quarter, but all had declined from the same period last year, the report said.


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