Retrenchments at 5-year low, job vacancies on the rise: Manpower Ministry

The labour market continued to show slight improvements in the first quarter of 2018, with retrenchment figures falling to a five-year low and the number of job openings on the rise.

Retrenchments at 5-year low, job vacancies on the rise: Manpower Ministry

Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, grew slightly by 400 in the first quarter of this year from the previous quarter.

The labour market continued to show slight improvements in the first quarter of 2018, with retrenchment figures falling to a five-year low and the number of job openings on the rise.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (June 13) showed that 2,320 workers were laid off in the first quarter of this year, a drop from 4,000 in the same quarter last year.

This is higher than the MOM's initial estimates of 2,100.

The retrenchment figure was 2,120 in March 2013, before hovering around 3,000 to 5,000 from 2015 to 2017.

But it has remained difficult for some groups of people to get back into a job.

The re-entry rate for residents in the first quarter - which is the share of residents who were laid off in the third quarter of last year and found work within six months - was 61 per cent, lower than 64 per cent in the same quarter last year.

Groups that saw below-average re-entry rates include professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), and those who are 50 and older.

The long-term unemployment rate was 0.7 per cent as of March this year, down from 0.8 per cent a year earlier. This measures the share of the resident labour force who have been unemployed for at least 25 weeks. Overall, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the first quarter improved to 2 per cent, down from 2.2 per cent a year earlier.

For Singaporeans, the rate in March was 3 per cent while the rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents combined was 2.8 per cent - down from 3.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively a year earlier.

For the first time since March 2016, there were more job openings than unemployed people. The seasonally adjusted ratio of vacancies to unemployed people improved to 1.04, up from 0.81 the previous year.

The number of vacancies, measured among public-sector and private-sector companies with at least 25 staff, also went up to 53,900. This figure was 46,800 a year ago.

More than half of the vacancies in March this year were for PMETs, mainly in sectors such as information and communications, community, social  and personal services, and professional services. The increase in openings for non-PMETs was led by transportation and storage, and community, social  and personal services.

Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, grew slightly by 400 in the first quarter of this year from the previous quarter. MOM said this was led by sectors such as community, social and personal services, finance and insurance, information and communications, as well as transportation and storage.

This helped to offset the decline in employment in manufacturing and construction, which saw employment shrink by 3,800 and 5,600 respectively in the first quarter of 2018.

Overall labour demand is expected to expand this year, but this will be uneven across sectors, said MOM.

Job opportunities are available in service sectors such as healthcare, logistics and wholesale trade, the ministry said, while the construction and marine shipyard sectors are expected to remain cautious in hiring.

 

Click here to check out our job listings.

Read: Privacy Policy , Terms & Conditions

Back to Career Resources »

Related Articles

    Platform companies 'can create new jobs for PMETs'

Platform companies 'can create new jobs for PMETs'

Platform companies connect customers and services in digital ways, such as via mobile apps or websites.

    Recommended by Freelance jobs in Singapore on the rise

Recommended by Freelance jobs in Singapore on the rise

Experts point to the changing demands of firms, shift in workers' mindsets, technolog

    Help workers feel excited about industry changes

Help workers feel excited about industry changes

Beyond broad plans for how industries are to be transformed by technology, the key to helping workers prepare for jobs of the future is to get them excited about how their industry is changing.

    Displaced mid-career PMETs to get more help

Displaced mid-career PMETs to get more help

MORE job matching and training for mid-career professionals are in the works, as the Government moves to help those who may have been caught out by the changing economy.

    S'pore employers cautious about hiring: Survey

S'pore employers cautious about hiring: Survey

ManpowerGroup poll shows only 16% expect Q2 staff strength to grow

    How to become a chemical engineer

How to become a chemical engineer

Interested in inventing new processes and materials? Read on