Singapore Employment Growth Expected To Weaken In 2023
SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) expects employment growth in the city-state to slow down this year compared to 2022, even though overall employment growth reached a record high of 227,800 last year, reported The Business Times on Wednesday morning (15 March, SGT).
The government agency thinks that Singapore’s total employment growth would decline from last year’s figure and the growth would be uneven across different industries.
MOM holds a “guarded but hopeful” outlook for the city-state’s labour market this year, with the emerging green economy potentially generating opportunities despite the global economic uncertainty, said Manpower Minister Tan See leng.
Meanwhile, overall layoffs in Singapore increased by over two-fold from 1,300 in Q3 2022 to 2,990 during the last quarter of the preceding year. Nonetheless, total retrenchments in 2022 hit 6,440, which is lower compared to pre-COVID levels.
The Ministry revealed that most of the layoffs came from the electronics manufacturing sector, followed by wholesale trade, as well as information and communication. The top reason for the retrenchments was business restructuring.
Although the layoffs for the electronics sector were partly due to business cycles, the ongoing geopolitical tensions made the industry “a bit more sort of protectionist”, which has affected Singapore.
In the tech industry, most of the retrenchments involved jobs in marketing, business development, and general administration, while the layoffs among tech workers with technical expertise were lower, noted Minister Tan.
“The good news is that, of the people who have been retrenched, a significant large majority of them, they’ve been able to find, or we’ve been able to place them in jobs within six months,” he added.
In fact, the proportion of retrenched residents who found employment within six months after being laid off rose to 73.1 percent during the 4th quarter – the highest since Q2 2015. However, most of them joined a different sector from the one they were retrenched from.