, Singapore

The majority of retrenchments come from wholesale trade

Retrenchments grew to 4,100 in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.

With retrenchments recently increased in Singapore, the majority of the growth stemmed from the wholesale trade sector, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

"This reflects the weaker external outlook the sector faced. The number of retrenchments in other remaining sectors remained broadly stable or declined," read the MOM statement.

Retrenchments in the jobs market increased to 4,100 in Q3 2023 from 3,200 in the previous quarter.

As this happens, the proportion of firms that seek to hire new employees in the next three months fell from 58.2% to 42.8%. 

The proportion of firms with an intention to increase wages declined, from 28.0% to 18.0%. 

Whilst unemployment rates remained low due to continued labor market tightness, they have been on a slow uptrend and may continue to increase further.

The government advised firms to follow these measures to improve support for employees:

a. Employers can refer to the Jobs Transformation Maps (JTMs) to understand how their businesses and job demands may change in response to sectoral trends. A total of 16 JTMs are available on Workforce Singapore's (WSG’s) website, and three more will be progressively completed by the end of FY2024. The JTMs identify the key technologies that are driving change, and their impact on individual job roles. With this information, employers and workers can pre-emptively redesign jobs and acquire the necessary skills for jobs of the future.

b. Employers can also tap on the Support for Job Redesign under the Productivity Solutions Grant, to make their jobs more productive and attractive to their employees and jobseekers.

c. WSG offers Career Conversion Programmes to support employers in re-skilling their existing employees to take on redesigned job roles and training mid-career new hires to take on new roles, with employers receiving up to 90% salary and course fee subsidy.

d. WSG’s SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme provides attachment opportunities tailored for mature workers, allowing them to explore career switches and gain industry-relevant skills and experience while receiving a training allowance of up to $3,800 per month.

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