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Global Firms in China Upbeat on Hiring: Hudson Survey

This may not be the best time to look for a job, but in China employment prospects seem bright with multinational corporations (MNCs) looking to increase staff even as the global economic uncertainty forces firms across Asia to hold back, says a survey published Tuesday.

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According to global recruitment firm Hudson, despite the slowdown in the world’s second largest economy, 56 percent of the MNCs polled in China say they will increase headcount in the third quarter of the year, compared with 38 percent in Hong Kong, 35 percent in Singapore and 30 percent in Australia.

Respondents of the survey include 6,800 executives in China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore from multinational organizations spanning sectors from media to manufacturing.

“Consumer is the most positive sector – almost 60 percent of employers plan to increase headcount (in China),” Lily Bi, Joint General Manger of Hudson Shanghai said, adding that organizations are most keen to recruit people with e-commerce and marketing skills.

International firms in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are also among the most optimistic with 57 percent of employers looking to hire this quarter, according to the survey.

While the survey results showed little evidence of headcount reduction in China, the Information Technology (IT) and financial services firms were the only two sectors to report a rise in intention to cut staffing levels.

“Cuts are not expected across the board – senior and expatriate bankers, particularly in the equities business, are most likely to be affected,” Li said.

This is a trend is present across Asia, particularly in neighboring financial hubs Hong Kong and Singapore, where one in 10 employers expect to reduce headcount this quarter.

“The majority of banks in Singapore are limiting themselves to critical hires. Demand is greatest for risk management and compliance professionals plus essential back office operational roles,” the report added.

By CNBC's Ansuya Harjani

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