Is the Singapore labour market on the up?

by HRD09 May 2017
Singapore may not yet be at the bottom of the labour market but there are some optimistic signs emerging, according to the Ministry of Manpower's Q1 Labour Market Report.

The report shows the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.2% for residents and at 3.5% for citizens. In another positive sign, redundancies have decreased from 5,440 to 4,800.
 
On the back of the Q1 advance release report, Adecco shared its views on how the labour market is tracking.

“This may not necessarily be the bottom of the labour market – for that we would have to see the employment market holding steady or improving for at least another quarter or two,” said Femke Hellemons, Country Manager, Adecco Personnel (Singapore). “But we are optimistic because we have seen improving overall trade conditions of the economy, upward revisions in GDP growth forecast as well as more workforce requests from our clients.”

There are also variations in the outlook according to industry and job type. The Adecco report shows the Logistics and Supply Chain, E-commerce and the Tech sectors are bright spots in terms of offering employment opportunities. Other than that, Healthcare, Insurance and Finance continue to have good prospects. 

“Even in sectors with good employment prospects, job profiles are changing,” said Hellemons, who added that these job profiles require new or different skillsets. 

“People need to continuously learn and upgrade their skills. Learning and Development remains key for everyone. Workers should look into both technical and soft skills development.” 

The Singapore government is also pulling its weight by providing good support to assist workers to develop themselves. 

“It is important for everyone to take on a mindset for change to remain adaptable and flexible towards learning new skills,” said Hellemons. As the economy restructures, that will also provide opportunities such as new jobs and higher value work.” 

In other encouraging news, Singapore was ranked the world's second-most talent-competitive country for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2017 (GTCI) released by INSEAD in partnership with Adecco. The country scored 74.09 and is above the median GTCI score.

The index measures the extent to which countries attract, grow and retain talent and how they translate their efforts into output.

This year’s GTCI analyses how technology can ‘augment’ human efficiency. It states that the digital revolution has been unfolding for decades – but its impact on business and society has been visibly accelerating since the start of the new millennium.

The GTCI report provides a tool-kit for governments, businesses and non-profit organisations throughout the world. The data, analysis and national scoreboards are intended to help countries overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2017 Rankings: Top 10

1.    Switzerland
2.    Singapore
3.    UK
4.    US
5.    Sweden
6.    Australia
7.    Luxembourg
8.    Denmark
9.    Finland
10.    Norway

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