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Job vacancies have risen up to 4.4% in Singapore, despite the ongoing labour crunch.
The figures hit 56,400 in the year ending September 2012, with service and sales professionals the most sought after, making up 24% of all vacancies.
According to the report by the Ministry of Manpower, 64% of vacancies last year required the candidate to have work experience, and those with job-specific (24%) and general experience (22%) were more in demand than candidates with industry-specific experience (18%).
There was an increase of 880 vacancies in the service and sales sector, while craftsmen and related trades roles saw an additional 600 vacancies last year.
On the flipside, managerial and administrative roles saw a decrease of 170 vacancies, as did associate professionals and technicians roles (-240) and plant and machine operators and assembly roles, which boasted the sharpest decline with 1,520 fewer vacancies.
A quarter of vacancies advertised last year required a minimum qualification of primary or lower, followed by university degree or higher (19.4%), secondary education (19.1%), and a diploma or professional qualification (19%).
However, employers still reported challenges in hiring locals for two thirds of available positions last year.
Most of these hard-to-fill positions are lower-end roles, and were challenging because they were deemed by candidates to be unattractive in pay (affecting 49% of hard-to-fill vacancies), physically strenuous (42%), in a non-conducive working environment (34%) and of shift work nature (30%).