Local employment nearly doubled in 2017, by adding 21,300 jobs as compared to the addition of 11,200 jobs through 2016. The job market is definitely looking promising with increases in local employment and median income of citizens and more job vacancies across industries with some exceptions.
Throughout 2017, retrenchments also fell substantially to 14,720 from 19,170. The same report published by the Ministry of Manpower states that the unemployment rate fell from 3.2% as recorded at the end of December in 2016 to 3% by the end of 2017. The unemployment rate applies to residents and has been adjusted for seasonal variations. However, the long term unemployment scenario for residents remains the same. It was 0.8% in December 2016 and it stands unchanged as we complete the first quarter of 2018.
The median monthly income of citizens, after accounting for inflation, has risen by 5.3%. The same had appreciated by only 1.3% in 2016. This is directly reflected in the increased contributions to the Central Provident Fund. The Ministry of Manpower is upbeat about the employment scenario but also cautions that the job market may stagnate in several industries.
Locals are definitely going to have the opportunity to apply for more jobs since the visa policies have been tightened to discourage hiring foreign nationals or immigrants. This is a concern for some industries as there is a mismatch of jobs and skills. The government has made some exceptions by relaxing the stringent policies pertaining to hiring foreign nationals or immigrants wherein companies can source talent from elsewhere if those vacancies cannot be filled by locals or if citizens lack the adequate skills. However, such leeway does not impair the focus or the impetus given to local employment. Companies across industries would still have to prioritize hiring citizens before considering sourcing skilled labors from other countries.
The employment scenario is expected to get even better throughout 2018. The job market in manufacturing is particularly robust. Services are also witnessing substantial growth, thereby hiring more in finance, media, infocomms, healthcare, logistics, insurance, wholesale trade and other sector specific professions. The only negative outlook pertains to marine shipyard and construction. Marine shipyard, as an industry, has predominantly relied on a foreign or immigrant workforce. Construction is taking a backseat due to the stagnating real estate market. There is an impending crisis in residential and commercial real estate sectors, if the market indications are anything to go by.
Singapore clocked a better growth in its gross domestic product in 2017. While economists are being cautious, many believe that the growth through 2018 would be somewhere between 2.5% to 3.5%. The lowest forecast is 1.5%, which is only if all downside risks come to fruition. The government has initiated many programs that will continue to play out through the year and will have a direct impact on the job market as well as overseas expansion of local businesses. There are plenty of programs in motion right now that have the ability to provide the necessary fillip to most industries, which will further improve local employment.
About the Author
Morris Edwards is a content writer at CompanyRegistrationinSingapore.com.sg, he writes different topics like Productivity 8 tips on securing an employment pass in Singapore, Three employment law changes due to impact HR in 2016and all topics related to Singapore Business. If you need Singapore Company Registration Servicesvisit our website.
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