Since mid-August, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has released a Jobs Situation Report detailing key updates and information in the jobs market. This has been useful in digesting the progress in the jobs market, and understanding the sectors that are faring better and the skills required to enter these sectors.
We’ve been keeping abreast of each of update, and here are 10 things we’ve found out from the 10 editions of the Jobs Situation Report.
#1 Electronics Was The Only Industry Within the Manufacturing Sector That Increased Local Employment
In the latest Jobs Situation Report 10th Edition on 19 October 2020, the Electronics industry was put in the spotlight. Employees in the industry typically work in specialised roles in semiconductor, consumer electronics, information technology, as well as niche roles in encryption technology, integrated circuit design, satellite communications and wireless technology.
Even as the Singapore economy saw its worst contraction on record in 2Q2020, employment in the Electronics industry rose about by about 1,000 places.
#2 Retail Sector Hurt, But Still Offering 3,600 Opportunities
The 9th edition of the Jobs Situation Report focused on the Retail sector. Even though the Retail sector may be hurting from the safe distancing measures (including the Circuit Breaker) and weak business sentiments, there are still opportunities on offer.
A pivot to e-commerce was already in progress, and most retailers who hadn’t gone online had to quickly prioritise this shift. The report also highlighted that “even after the Circuit Breaker, some companies continued to grow their sales faster through online”.
Since April 2020, more than 650 companies in the Retail sector have offered close to 3,600 opportunities. More than 70% of which are jobs, while the remaining are for traineeships and training.
Around 60% of the jobs on offer are for non-PMET roles, such as salespersons. The remaining 40% were for PMET roles such as Sales, Marketing and Business Development Managers, Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers, and Commercial and Marketing Sales Executives.
#3 117,500 SGUnited Jobs And Skills Package Opportunities Created (As At 7 October)
70% of these were for jobs, while 30% were for traineeships and training. In the report, the top sectors offering opportunities included:
- Information & Communications
- Professional Services
- Finance & Insurance
#4 Accountancy, Consultancy, Design, And Advertising And Marketing Are COVID-19-Proof
While businesses in the Architecture, some Engineering sub-sectors and even law firms were some of the most affected, other firms remained resilient because of regulatory requirements and the acceleration of digitalisation because of COVID-19. Professional Services businesses in Accountancy, Consultancy (for technology and cybersecurity), Design and Advertising and Marketing stayed strong.
More than 1,500 companies have offered about 9,000 opportunities since April 2020. Unlike many other sectors, 2 in 3 opportunities created were jobs rather than government-funded opportunities.
#5 Companies In The Food Sector Saw Very Contrasting Fates From COVID-19
The 6th edition of the Jobs Situation Report indicated that companies manufacturing food staples saw 30% to 70% surge in demand for their products through retail channel. On the other hand, food services companies supplying hotels, restaurants, cafes and the food services space experienced 40% to 90% decline in sales.
Food Manufacturing in Singapore is a growth sector, capitalising on Singapore’s strong brand for food safety, quality and hygiene. Food produced here can also be strategically exported to countries in ASEAN as well as Japan, Australia and China.
Hiring in the Food sector mirrored this trend, and were also boosted for locals because of border lockdowns.
Digitalising in the Food sector also became a very important topic with cafes and restaurants flocking to food delivery platforms, as well as implementing other digital solutions for payment and ordering.
#6 Precision Engineering Grew 11.4% From January To July 2020
The 5th edition of the Jobs Situation Report noted that while most other companies were battered by the COVID-19 storm, the Precision Engineering cluster managed to grow 11.4% from January to July 2020.
Companies within the Precision Engineering space that saw the best performance included those serving 1) Medical Technology and Semiconductor due to an increase in demand for COVID-19-related products such as diagnostic kits and ventilator, 2) machinery and systems to make technology products and appliances for remote working (e.g. monitors), and 3) digital space such as automation and robotics, especially to reduce manpower requirements to implement safe distancing measures.
#7 Majority Of Jobseekers Who Found New Jobs Did So Quickly And Without Sizeable Paycut
In the 4th edition of the Jobs Situation Report, skills and employability came to the fore. Those who were retrenched in 1Q2020 and managed to find new jobs, did so “relatively quickly and did not experience sizeable pay cuts”.
39% of the 2,160 residents retrenched in 1Q2020 managed to find employment by June 2020. 7 in 10 of these workers entered their new roles within a month. 60% did not have to take sizeable pay cut. Quite understandably, those in their 30s and 40s were more likely to have found new jobs.
Reading in between the lines, this likely meant the 61% who didn’t find a job by June 2020 were older and had a mismatch of skills after being made redundant. This may be because they were either less tech-savvy or because they had skills in sectors such as tourism and hospitality.
The report also noted that hiring was expected to stay robust, especially since the announcement of the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to encourage more businesses to bring forward hiring plans and hold off retrenchments for locals.
#8 Engineers Remain In Demand In Singapore
Over 6,300 opportunities in the Manufacturing sector were available, with engineers in high demand. Within the biomedical space, in-demand roles included Biotechnologist, Production Manager (Cell & Gene Therapy), Automation Engineers, Chemist, Validation Specialist, Quality Assurance Managers and Microbiologists.
In the report, it was also stated that Biopharmaceuticals manufacturing is anticipated to see an increase in manpower demand, and Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) have worked with the industry to launch a new Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Advanced Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturing Professionals and Executives.
#9 Startups Do Not Offer Below Industry Norm Salaries
Focusing on Startups, the 2nd Jobs Situation Report noted that contrary to common perception, salaries offered by startups “are not necessarily below the industry norm”. This may be logical as startups may have to compete harder for talent compared to more established companies.
The report also indicated that salaries for the top five roles startups are hiring for – Software Developers, Chefs, Engineering Professionals, Sales, Marketing and Business Development Managers, and Administrative and Related Associate Professionals – are in line with industry norms.
#10 Significant Number Of Opportunities Are Government-Funded And From Public Sector
In the very 1st Jobs Situation Report, the National Jobs Council (NJC) had already curated 92,000 of the targeted 100,000 opportunities as at end-July. 50,000, or about 54%, of these opportunities were government-funded opportunities or jobs by public sector agencies.
In the more recent 8th edition of the Jobs Situation Report, the opportunities created easily surpassed the target to 117,500 opportunities. However, 71,400, or about 61% were derived from government-funded opportunities or public sector. The remaining 46,100 jobs were offered by the private sector.
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