The latest labour market report from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has found that overall employment in Singapore grew the slowest in six years with overall unemployment remaining at two pert cent. In September, unemployment grew to 3.1 per cent for Singapore citizens.
The report also found total employment grew by 12,600 in Q3 of 2015, down from an increase of 33,400 compared to Q3 2014. Cumulatively for the first three quarters of this year, total employment grew by 16,200, which is the lowest growth since 2009.
“For the first three quarters of this year, the government has been going full force in developing a strong Singaporean core, while reducing the reliance on foreign manpower,” noted Randstad country director – Singapore, Jaya Dass. “The government’s focus on increasing productivity and transitioning to a more service and quality-based economy is also making Singapore less manpower-reliant. These initiatives, coupled with the slowdown in core sectors like manufacturing and construction, have contributed to slower employment growth.
Ms Dass also commented on the growing redundancies which seem to be affecting all sectors: “Business leaders in Singapore are increasingly looking to align job scopes and leverage technology to reduce labour costs,” she said. “This focus is driven by a growing focus on workforce productivity and efficiency, particularly in the services and construction sectors. This is a key contributor to the rise of redundancies and layoffs in the last quarter.
“The rise in redundancies highlights the significance of upskilling to remain competitive in the workforce,” she added. “To remain relevant in today’s changing world of work where technology is beginning to dominate most roles, employees need to constantly update their skills. They can do so by going on career training programmes or signing up for external courses.”