Recovery Of Singapore’s Labour Market

Recovery Of Singapore’s Labour Market To Continue In 2022

SINGAPORE – The Manpower Ministry’s (MOM) forecasted the recovery of the city-state’s jobs market would continue next year alongside further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. However, border curbs still have a substantial impact on the tightness of the local labour market, reported The Business Times on Wednesday morning (15 December, SGT).

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said that the latest statistics “indicate that the labour market recovery continued to make good progress”.

“As Singapore moves into the transition phase and restrictions start easing, I am optimistic that the labour market will continue to improve,” he stated in a Facebook post.

However, Tan pointed out that Singapore is “not completely out of the woods just yet” as the recovery of the labour market remains uneven. He said this during the release of MOM latest Labour Market Report, which updates and expounds advance estimates released in late-October.

Notably, the report corroborates that the city-state’ jobs market continued to recover Q3 2021 despite COVID-related curbs, said MOM’s Permanent Secretary Aubeck Kam.

For instance, resident employment increased strongly by 19,100 compared to Q2’s 4,800 growth. This partly offset a 21,500 decline in non-resident employment, which is comparable to the 21,100 drop in Q2.

Retrenchments also fell to 1,900 in Q3, an improvement from the 2,340 recorded in Q2. This translates to a lower incidence of 1.1 retrenchments per 1,000 staff from 1.3 before. The 6-month re-entry rate for retrenched residents also edged up to 66 percent from 64 percent previously.

Another positive sign is that there were fewer staff on a short work-week or temporary layoff: it fell to 4,060 in Q3 from 5,580 in Q2. Overall employment also dropped by 2,400 in Q3, lower than the advance estimate of -3,400 and is also substantially less than the 16,300 fall seen in Q2.

However, job vacancies increased for the 5th consecutive quarter to 98,700 in Q3 from 92,100 during the prior quarter. This means there were 209 job vacancies for every 100 unemployed individuals during the quarter under review from 163 in Q2.

MOM noted that there are now twice as many job vacancies as unemployed persons, but this is partly because of industries that have lost Work Permit holders. Also, the increase in job vacancies “should be seen in the context of border restrictions on the inflow of foreign labour”.

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