Employment In Singapore Surge Despite A Rise In Layoffs



According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore observed a rise in layoffs in the third quarter of 2023, despite the labour market demonstrating resilience in the face of a deteriorating economic outlook.

According to MOM’s comprehensive labour market predictions, total employment got up for the eighth consecutive quarter. The gains observed for both residents and non-residents. Despite the low unemployment rate, there was a spike in layoffs and unemployment.

In Q3 of 2023, 4,100 people were laid off which is higher from 3,200 from the previous quarter. The wholesale trade sector led this increase by showing the industry’s vulnerability to deteriorating external economic conditions. Retrenchments in other industries, on the other hand, have either stayed constant or reduced.

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“Business reorganisation and restructuring remained the top reason for retrenchments in Q3’2023,” according to the MOM.

The total employment increased by 24,000 after migrant domestic workers were excluded. Both residents and non-residents contributed to the increase, since resident employment in quickly expanding industries including banking, social services, health, and professional services—which often have higher salaries—was the main driver. Non-resident employment increased in construction, retail commerce, food and beverage services and administrative and support services.

Unemployment rates in September were low as preliminary estimates predicting rates of 2.8% for residents, 3% for non-residents and 2% overall. However, business optimism declined in the same month with fewer businesses expressing a willingness to hire or raise wages in the next three months.

MOM advised both firms and employees to take full use of current initiatives to boost competitiveness and resilience in the face of economic instability. Furthermore, it also underlined the need of organisations continuing their transformation efforts, upskilling and reskilling their personnel, and adapting to a dynamic economic landscape, according to CNA.

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