Singapore retrenchments hit heights of 2009

In the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were made redundant, higher than the same timeframe in 2015 (10,220) and the highest since 2009 (21,210).

The number of workers laid off in the first nine months of 2016 has reached a seven-year high.

According to the Labour Market Report, Third Quarter 2016 report released by the Manpower Ministry on Tuesday (13 November), in the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were retrenched, steeper than the same period in 2015 (10,220) and the highest since 2009 (21,210).

Moreover, a total of 4,220 employees were retrenched in the third quarter of 2016, a decrease from the 4,800 made redundant in the second quarter but an increase from the 3,460 laid off in the third quarter of 2015.

The report also cited that professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) were more prone to be laid off.

The overall unemployment rate also remained constant at 2.1%.

According to the report, total employment contracted by 2,700 in the third quarter of 2016, following slower growth in the past two quarters.

“The decline was primarily due to contractions in Manufacturing and Construction, affecting mainly Work Permit Holders,” said the report.

Over the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest such growth since 2009 (100).

Nevertheless, re-entry rates have increased.

More residents (49%) made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 secured re-employment by September 2016, a rise from the previous quarter (45%), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59%).

“The contraction in total employment, heightened redundancy levels and decline in job vacancies to unemployed ratio reflect the current subdued global economic conditions and ongoing economic restructuring,” said the report.

“Along with efforts to transform our industries and create quality jobs for our people, the tripartite partners will continue to step up help for workers affected by the economic situation to seize new job opportunities through SkillsFuture and Adapt & Grow initiatives amid this ongoing economic transition.”

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