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China’s employment market holds steady in 2012

Key survey findings – Michael Page Salary and Employment Forecast 2012, China

  • The majority of employers (84%) plan to award salary increases in 2012 based on performance.
  • Most employers (34%) will award a salary increase in the range of 8-10%, with a further 27% of employers offering increases between 6-8%.
  • 49% of employers believe there will be a skills shortage over the next 12 months.

5 Mar 2012: Business confidence in China remains high in 2012 leading to a stable recruitment market however employers are approaching recruiting activity with greater caution compared to the previous year, according to a survey conducted by global recruitment firm Michael Page International.

Incorporating the responses of more than 370 employers from China’s corporate sector, the Michael Page Salary and Employment Forecast reveals that employers will be closely monitoring global economic markets to inform their hiring decisions over the next six to 12 months.

“While overall business confidence remains relatively high in China for 2012, an air of caution exists,” says Andy Bentote, Managing Director of Northern and Eastern China for Michael Page International. “Economic conditions in Europe and the US are expected to have an impact on hiring activity in China, resulting in overall steady jobs growth over the next 12 months.”

Sectors expected to defy this overall trend and experience jobs growth include Retail, in line with an anticipated increase in domestic consumption. In addition, jobs growth is likely in the Technology and Supply Chain areas as employers look to achieve business improvements and efficiencies, while some companies will take advantage of economic conditions as an opportunity for business expansion resulting in more sales and business development roles.

Against this employment market, the survey reveals that the majority of employers in China (84%) will award salary increases in 2012 at varying levels based on performance. Where salary increases are awarded, most (34%) will be in the range of 8% to 10%, with a further 27% of employers offering slightly lower increases of between 6% and 8%. In addition, 49% of employers believe there will be a skills shortage over the next 12 months.

Some cautiousness among candidates is also expected in the current recruitment market, according to Mr Bentote.

“Candidates are putting more thought into a potential change in employer and we are seeing an increasing focus on non-financial incentives offered by companies such as training and development opportunities,” he says.