The Manpower Ministry (MOM) reported yesterday (29 Jul) that the total employment (excluding foreign domestic workers) contracted sharply and retrenchments doubled in Q2 (Apr-Jun) compared to Q1 (Jan-Mar) this year.
“As expected, unemployment has risen but remains below the peaks seen in previous downturns,” MOM said.
It revealed that total employment contracted by 121,800 in the last quarter, more than four-folds in the first 3 months. The total employment decline since the start of 2020 hit 147,500.
Unemployment rate for citizens rose sharply from 3.5% in March to 4.0% last month. Overall unemployment rate, however, only rose from 2.4% to 2.9% in the same period. There were 90,500 unemployed residents in June last month, of whom 79,600 were Singaporeans.
“Unemployment rates remained lower than previous recessionary peaks during the Global Financial Crisis and SARS,” MOM reiterated.
Retrenchments much higher last quarter
Retrenchments were also much higher in Q2 (6,700), compared to Q1 (3,220).
“While retrenchments have now surpassed the high during SARS (2Q 2003: 5,510), it remained below the peak observed in the Global Financial Crisis (1Q 2009: 12,760),” MOM added.
Retrenchments rose significantly in wholesale trade and transport equipment in line with the reduced demand in retail and air travel respectively.
MOM said that softness in the labour market is likely to persist with continued weakness in hiring and pressure on companies to retrench.
“For jobseekers who are unable to secure a job due to the weak labour market, attachments and training opportunities will be provided for them to gain industry-relevant skills to help them do so once the market recovers,” MOM said.
“The response from companies to provide traineeship positions for new and recent graduates under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme has been very strong. In view of the strong support, these positions will be extended to mid-career individuals as attachments under the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.”
That is to say, mid-career individuals can also soon start applying for such traineeship positions originally meant for new graduates.
“To help jobseekers better access the opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, Workforce Singapore (WSG) is progressively setting up SGUnited Jobs and Skills satellite career centres in all Housing Board towns,” MOM announced.
It advised jobseekers to also visit WSG’s Careers Connect and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) career centres.
Disappointment with NTUC’s e2i services
Online, however, some netizens who visited NTUC’s e2i have expressed disappointment over its services.
On Hardware Zone, netizens complained:
techidiot: Such job (at e2i) is for student or kid to earn extra $. The pay range is quite low so those have family will not consider to apply. The only useful thing about career center are the courses like resume writing, interview skills and etc. Other than that especially when come to job you have to search on your own.
mrclubbie: Recently I also had a chat with e2i on career matters. Nothing concrete, going round and round on skillsfuture, traineeship, upgrade upskill retrain etc.
addict951: My fren went to that e2i thing and told me wasted his time. First, the person he met was very dismissive. Secondly, he was offered jods arbitrary. He was subtly hinted: got jod just take, dun be choosy… that kind of jod ownself can find liao. Need your help for what
BlackStar00: Many yrs ago when my company closed down, they also came down and tried to help. Same thing as u, went to the career centre, the guy keep telling me cannot be choosy, then most jobs during the fair are cui kinds like retail and etc. In the end i found my own job with decent pay, he look so shocked…i was like wtf, i got degree and all those u rec me all the retail part time kind of jobs
tony137: e2i is a waste of time. all the jobs with 0 career progression. cushy jobs all taken by foreigner already
Travis_Touchdown: Precisely!! Moi also went through the same thing… When moi was stating the kind of jobs moi was looking for, they dun even know what it was, thought it some sales/retail kind of job… In the end, moi also found job moiself… Depend on them? Alr starved to death along the streets liaoz…
Then one netizen strangerjun quipped, “Ask Ng Chee Meng to handle. He got time now.”