Overal hiring trends in Singapore are healthy despite cautious hiring in certain Asia-Pacific sectors. According to Randstad's Singapore and Malaysia director Karin Clarke, employment rates are up from 1.9 per cent last quarter to 2.1 per cent this. Clarke, said the increase may be a result of cautionary hiring by employers in certain industries. She told Bernama: "There are signs of cautionary hiring in the electronics and commercial construction industries but this is not indicative of overall hiring trends. "We are seeing an increase in hiring across other sectors from strong-performing local and multinational companies," she said when commenting on the Ministry of Manpower's Second Quarter Labour Force Report here today. More below: Clarke said companies were continuing to pursue their growth plans in Asia. She said the Randstad 2011/12 World of Work Report showed that employers found that attracting and retaining talent were the biggest barriers for achieving their next stage of growth. Clarke said the nominal average monthly earnings rose by six per cent, indicating that salary expectations remained high.