Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that more locals were employed in 2017 with around 21,300 people, up almost double the figure in 2016.
The increase occurred amid a decline in foreign jobs, which caused overall employment to drop for the first time in 15 years. While there were more locals with jobs, employment opportunities became more limited.
During the last quarter of 2017, job opportunities fell by 20 per cent, according to a Morgan McKinley report. It also showed a 37 per cent drop in the number of people who looked for new jobs. This might indicate that competition became less evident in Singapore’s job market, but fewer opportunities negated any chance of easily landing a job.
Higher education, however, improves a person’s odds of finding work. If you seek to build a career in healthcare, a master’s degree in psychology from the James Cook University Singapore serves as one option to boost your credentials. Patrick Tay, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general, believes that aiming to increase your skills and knowledge will be important to stay competitive and in-demand.
Aside from higher education, Tay said that workers should intend to upgrade their skills in digital technology. It may also be crucial to prevent yourself from being laid off, as retrenchment occurs in some companies due to the “rapidity of digital and technology disruption,” he added.
Still, a positive outlook in 2018 may likely keep the retrenchment rate on par with the previous year. The MOM recorded 14,340 layoffs in 2017, down from 19,170 year over year. Manufacturing companies particularly downsized their workforce in the previous quarter, while construction and services laid off fewer workers, according to the ministry.
Singapore’s employment sector may have been a mixed bag in 2017, but knowing that you have the relevant skills for an in-demand job increases your chances of clinching work.