In its biannual Macroeconomic Review yesterday, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reported that “workers who have been laid off have found it increasingly difficult to return to the workforce”. In fact, the rise of long-term unemployment in H1 2016 may also indicate that more workers have been out of jobs for longer duration.
According to MAS, there also seem to be a higher job mismatches especially among the professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) who made up for more than two-thirds of the layoffs. Despite more than half of the job openings being targeted at PMETs, only 39.6% of resident PMETs managed to re-enter the workforce within six months.
Although government initiatives such as the Professional Conversion Programmes and SkillsFuture Credit help workers to stay relevant to the evolving needs, MAS noted that the solution lies in the workers themselves. They “should equip themselves with the necessary skills to fill the jobs that are currently available and will be in demand in the coming years”. MAS also reported that “employment growth will remain weak in H2” with wage pressures likely to ease.
“These include professionals in IT, engineering, and finance, as well as healthcare workers and early childhood educators. Increasingly, more specialised skills would be needed to take on these new jobs, such as capabilities in IT applications and cyber security analytics”.
On a brighter note, the report showed that the transport & storage sector added 3,500 jobs in the first six months, supported further by strong hiring demand following the entry of two new public transport operators, Tower Transit and Go-Ahead Group.
Photo / 123RF