Thursday, a report from Hudson, a recruitment services provider, showed that hiring expectations for the second quarter fell in all four Asian markets surveyed, including China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

China showed the highest expectations, with 30% forecasting headcount to rise in the second quarter. On the other hand, the proportion of respondents expecting to cut staff has jumped to 21% from 8%.

At the same time, Hong Kong showed the lowest hiring expectations since the fourth quarter of 1998, when the Hudson Report started, with about 14% expecting to hire in the second quarter.

Hiring expectations also declined in Japan, where 22% expected to increase hiring in the second quarter, down from 31% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, hiring expectations in Singapore fell at a slightly slower pace, with 20% expecting to increase headcount compared with 23% in the previous quarter.

Mike Game, CEO, Hudson Asia, said, Hiring expectations continue to fall in all the countries surveyed but less steeply than in the previous quarter. Many employers are implementing initiatives to cut HR-related costs.

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