Singapore's labour demand 'cooling down'

Employment sees 'smaller increase' than previous quarter

Singapore's labour demand 'cooling down'

Employers' demand for talent is showing signs of cooling down as employment growth moderated and the number of job vacancies eased in the first quarter of the year, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The latest Labour Market Report revealed that total employment increased by 33,000 in the first quarter of the year.

The increase, however, is smaller than the previous quarter, with moderation observed for resident and non-resident employment.

Retrenchments climb, job vacancies fall

Retrenchments also increased to 3,820 during the quarter, driven mainly by reorganisation or restructuring (47.7%), as well as recession or downturn (19.4%).

The industries that recorded the highest retrenchments include:

  • Electronics Manufacturing (670 to 1,190)
  • Information & Communications (370 to 560)
  • Financial Services (260 to 540)

Retrenchments in other sectors "remained stable," according to MOM.

Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies in Singapore went down to 99,600 in the quarter, fourth consecutive decrease recorded.

According to the report, sectors that reported the highest number of vacancies include:

  • Information & Communications (8,100)
  • Health & Social Services (7,800)
  • Professional Services (7,700)
  • Financial Services (6,300)

‘Cooling’ labour demand

"The Labour Market Report published earlier today indicates that while the labour market remains tight, there are some signs of cooling labour demand," said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng in a statement.

This comes amid a declining ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons, which is at 2.28. It remains tight, however, as more than seven in 10 retrenched residents found new jobs within six months after getting laid off.

"MOM is watching the situation closely and is looking at how to provide better support to displaced workers," Leng said.

To remain resilient, the minister urged employers and employees to make "full use of government programmes" to adapt to the uncertain business environment.

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