Employment fair attracts thousands, but observers warn the boom won't last More than 6,500 university graduates have flocked to a government job fair on the back of a recent improvement in the job market. But recruitment consultants warn that the upturn may be temporary, with the supply of new jobs expected to dry up later this year. More than 1,800 vacancies were offered at the fair at Central Library, up 130 per cent on a similar event last year, the Labour Department said. Of the positions, 70 per cent did not require relevant experience and most were full-time. Most offered monthly salaries from $8,000 to $11,000, up 10 to 14 per cent from the wage range last year. Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the number of jobs on offer and their pay were 'a good indicator of economic improvement'. 'For a start, we feel university graduates should be able to find jobs more easily this year, compared with the past two years. The situation also looks more optimistic than before,' he said. Wing On Travel human resources manager Yau Tik-yai said the tour operator would recruit about 50 trainee tour guides to cope with business expansion and a possible surge in travel. 'We have raised the starting pay for such positions by 5 to 10 per cent. A trainee tour guide can now earn between $8,000 and $10,000,' he said. Cash Financial Service Group, which plans to hire 80 to 100 financial consultants, financial analysts and customer-service managers, said it had increased its starting salaries by a similar margin. Despite the optimism among government officials and employers, job seekers at the fair had mixed views about their prospects. University of Hong Kong graduate Jack Lee Chun-wing said he wanted to try his luck even though he had been offered a job as an accountant. 'I would prefer to find a position such as a financial-management trainee that not only offers a good pay package but also provides comprehensive management training for new recruits,' he said. June Lee Ping-ting, 22, a Chinese University psychology graduate, was less enthusiastic. 'Despite an improving job market, I still think the prospects are bleak because the competition remains very intense,' she said. Michelle Leung, of JobsDB Hong Kong, said the rise in pay offers had more to do with employers struggling to fill their positions. 'During Sars [the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome], the jobs were choosing the people, but as the economy improves, people are starting to become choosy and demand higher pay,' she said. But Ms Leung warned job seekers not to expect the present job market boom to last. 'We expect the supply of new posts to flatten out slowly in the second half of the year as employers complete their recruitment.' she said. 'Only jobs that companies are having difficulty filling will dominate the market then.'