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.

Back to Career Resources »

Related Articles

    Job fair targets older workers

Job fair targets older workers

150 participants shortlisted or get offers at first in series featuring firms with age-friendly practices

    Aspiring air force engineer, film-maker amongst winners of S'pore Polytechnic student award

Aspiring air force engineer, film-maker amongst winners of S'pore Polytechnic student award

Being an air force engineer may seem like an unusual occupation for most girls. However, for Ang Wan Ling, 19, it is a childhood dream on the way to becoming a reality.

    Sculpted to perfection

Sculpted to perfection

Focus on substance to make your resumé stand out

    Firms in broad support of new hiring rules

Firms in broad support of new hiring rules

Consider Singaporeans for job vacancies before turning to foreign candidates

    Undergrad eyes future in trading commodities

Undergrad eyes future in trading commodities

SMU student made stock trading debut last year, uses tuition income for investments

    Make the right connection with employers at Career Fair

Make the right connection with employers at Career Fair

Stand out from the crowd! Here’s how you can make the right move with choice employers