Singapore job market robust despite subdued economic growth: survey

Which fields dominate the job market?

Singapore job market robust despite subdued economic growth: survey

Recent data from Indeed, a global matching and hiring platform, reveals Singapore’s job market is robust despite a decline in job postings and a moderation of economic growth. The findings show job postings remain at 57% above pre-pandemic levels. In addition, Singapore’s employment rate is currently 5.4% higher than it was before the onset of the pandemic.

According to Indeed, in 2023, job postings decreased from the peak observed in October 2022, down 25% overall. However, the number of job postings remain above pre-pandemic levels across all occupational categories, with over a quarter of sectors (26%) doubling their pre-pandemic levels. Noteworthy increases in job postings were noted in childcare (+20%), security and public safety (+16%), and hospitality and tourism (+14.5%).

Conversely, dentistry (-39%), media and communications (-37%), and arts and entertainment (-37%) had the most significant declines.

“Singapore’s labour market remains tight, with low unemployment levels and high vacancies,” said Callam Pickering, senior economist at Indeed APAC.

According to Pickering, there are currently 1.6 job vacancies per unemployed person, a notable shift from the pre-pandemic ratio of 1:1, indicating prevalent skill shortages and a mismatch between job creation and available workforce. He advises that addressing these disparities should be a priority for HR leaders.

Trends in Singaporean job market

According to the report, Singapore tends to have a higher concentration of job postings in fields like software development, management, and scientific research, in particular technology, finance, and engineering, compared to fellow Asian countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines. On the other hand, Singapore offers fewer job opportunities in sectors such as sales, retail, and customer service, which are typically associated with blue-collar work.

Another notable finding is that flexibility remains a significant factor in Singapore’s job market dynamics, with nearly 4% of searches on Indeed including remote work, a trend amplified by the pandemic. Hybrid work arrangements, combining remote and in-office work, have emerged as the preferred option, correlating with higher employee retention rates compared to fully remote or in-office setups.

The report also shows that the evolving labour market in Singapore highlights the significance of  adaptability, especially amidst an aging population and advancing technology. Employers are advised to recognize key trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) and workplace flexibility to navigate and thrive in the dynamic Singaporean job market in 2024 and beyond.

“It's important to highlight the ever-changing landscape with an ageing population and evolving technology. Employers must understand these key trends that influence Singapore’s job market, such as artificial intelligence and workplace flexibility, which will help businesses thrive in 2024 and beyond,” noted Pickering.

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