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MOM report: More workers laid off in 2012

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Despite an increase in employment, more workers in Singapore were made redundant in 2012 than in the previous year.

Last year, 11,010 workers were made redundant in Singapore, up 10% from 2011, a report by the Ministry of Manpower has found.

While this is equivalent to 5.8 redundancies per 1,000 workers, the figures are still significantly lower than those reported in 2008 and 2009, where it was 11 and 14 per 1,000 workers, respectively.

The report also revealed PMETs were more susceptible to being laid off, with 7.4 made redundant for every 1,000 PMETs last year, up from 5.5 per 1,000 in 2011.

PMETs also formed 54% of all those laid off last year, suggesting a growing vulnerability of white-collar workers following globalisation and technological developments.

The rate of re-entry into the employment market also fell in 2012. Last year, 68% of those made redundant in 2012 returned to the workforce before the end of the year, slightly below the 70% reported in 2011.

The report suggested these figures may be related to the increased number of redundant PMETs, as they may have spent more time searching for opportunities matching their skill sets, qualifications and salary expectations.

More than a third of companies (37%) revealed restructuring the business for greater efficiency was the biggest reason behind redundancies last year, a slight increase from 34% in 2011 and 23% in 2010.

Other top causes of redundancies were business failures not due to recession (23%), reorganisation of businesses (21%), high operating (21%) and labour costs (20%) and downturn in the industry (16%).

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