S’pore Retrenchments Hit 11,350 In H1 2020, Exceeding Estimations
Workforce cuts have exceeded initial estimates, dropping to 11,350 in the first half of 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed in its latest labor market report.
According to estimates put forward for July 29, there would be 9,920 layoffs in the first half of the year.
The 11,350 workforce reductions in the first half of 2020 now exceed the cuts suffered during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic. During Sars, there were 10,120 redundancies in the first half of 2003.
However, this year’s number has yet to surpass that of the 2008 global financial crisis, where there were 12,760 layoffs.
Despite the downsizing, the unemployment rate for residents in June was lower than expected at 3.8%, compared to 3.9% according to estimates.
Total employment also declined by 103,500 between April and June, compared to initial estimates of 121,800. In total, employment declined by 129,100 in the first half of 2020.
This is the largest semi-annual reduction on record.
S’pore sees more vacancies
There are also fewer vacancies in June, at 42,400, compared to 46,300 in March.
The number of unemployed in Singapore exceeds the number of vacant positions, with the ratio standing at 0.57.
However, vacancies have increased in sectors such as financial services, wholesale trade, food and beverage services, administrative and support services, public administration and education.
In July, overall unemployment fell from 2.4% to 2.9% compared to the last quarter. This is the highest level of unemployment in over a decade.
On August 17, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a S $ 1 billion job growth incentive as part of S $ 8 billion measures to support Singapore’s economy.
According to Minister Heng, Singapore’s labor market “will likely remain weak beyond 2020” and a post-Covid-19 world “will not function as usual”.
Featured Image Credit: HRM Asia
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