The number of workers laid off in 2015 was 15,580 , an increase of 20% compared to 12,930 in 2014.
The employment numbers showed that Professional, managers, executives & technicians (PMET)s formed more than 70% of the redundancies. There is also a broad based decline in the vacancies available across various industries in Singapore. However, only about 47% of vacancies are opened to PMETs. As such, there is a mismatch between vacancies available compared to the number of PMETs being laid off. Many of the vacancies are in the retail, food and beverage, services sector where wages are substantial lower then wages of laid off PMETs. Many PMETs would not be willing to take on jobs as there is employment mismatch in job expectation, skills, wages and working conditions.
Foreign employment growth has also moderated to 2.3% in 2015 and overall employment growth to 0.9% in 2015.
This is the slowest growth since 2003 when it was -0.6%. This is according to the latest statistics released by Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.
As at December 2015, locals formed two-thirds of all persons in employment in Singapore (2,268,900) while foreigners made up the balance one-third (1,387,300).
Unemployment rate remain low at 1.9% for the whole of 2015. However, the unemployment rate for residents rose from 2.8% in 2014 to 3.0% in 2015 and 2.9% to 3.1% for citizens. This is consistent with the general observation by JobPlus Employment & Recruitment Agency that while the bulk of the redundancies are PMETs, the majority of available jobs are in the blue collar sectors. There is also an increasing numbers of freelance workers due to changing employment landscape. Mr Patrick Tay, Member of Parliament expects an increasing number of residents and citizens who forms the majority of PMETs to be unemployed or underemployed in the coming years. He has suggested more government help and support for this vulnerable group.
Meanwhile, more companies in Singapore has announced redundancies or planning for manpower reduction in 2016. The latest to announce job cuts in Singapore is Caterpillar where 90 jobs have been made redundant.