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Singapore’s labour market expands in 3Q 2023 amid economic headwinds: MOM Reports

Singapore records 24,000 job additions in 3Q 2023 amid economic uncertainties, with unclear division between resident and non-resident contributions, raising questions about employment demographics following recent citizenship and PR grants.



Despite facing a dimmer economic outlook, Singapore’s labour market demonstrated resilience in the third quarter of 2023, as indicated by the advance estimates from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Total employment, excluding Migrant Domestic Workers, marked its eighth consecutive quarter of growth, propelled by increases in both resident and non-resident employment sectors.

Although there was an uptick in retrenchments and a slight rise in unemployment, the overall rates remained low, signaling efficient re-employment among the workforce.

Employment growth was observed in both the resident and non-resident sectors, with a significant expansion of 24,000 jobs in the third quarter, maintaining a pace comparable to previous quarters. Sectors like Financial Services, Professional Services, and Health & Social Services, known for higher remuneration, saw notable resident employment expansion.

In contrast, non-resident employment was more pronounced in areas like Construction, Retail Trade, Food & Beverage Services, and Administrative & Support Services.

While the MOM report indicated an improved situation for residents compared to the last update, where all employment growth in 2Q 2023 was attributed to non-residents, the latest update did not specify the exact breakdown of the number of jobs secured by residents.

Furthermore, it should be noted that Singapore granted 23,082 individuals citizenship, and 34,493 were awarded PR status in 2022. We do not know for sure if the jobs created went to work permit holders who were granted PRs or recently converted new citizens.

Despite the global economic deceleration impacting business sentiments, MOM stated that Singapore’s unemployment rates stayed relatively stable and low as of September 2023. The overall unemployment stood at 2.0%, with resident unemployment at 2.8%, and citizen unemployment at 3.0%. These figures underscore the strength of the city-state’s labour market dynamics, even amidst global challenges.

The period did witness a surge in retrenchments, rising from 3,200 in the second quarter to 4,100 in the third quarter of 2023. The Wholesale Trade sector primarily drove this increase, reflecting the sector’s sensitivity to the deteriorating external economic environment. However, retrenchment figures in other sectors remained largely consistent or showed a decline.

Amid these developments, the government urges employers and workers to leverage existing programs to uphold competitiveness and resilience. Initiatives are in place to assist in business transformation, workers’ skill enhancement, and adaptation to economic flux. Tools like Jobs Transformation Maps (JTMs) are readily accessible for employers to anticipate sectoral trends and technological impacts on job roles.

In addition to JTMs, the government has extended several support schemes for job redesign, skill acquisition, and career transitions, particularly beneficial in the current uncertain economic landscape. These measures include the Support for Job Redesign under the Productivity Solutions Grant, Career Conversion Programs, and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Program tailored for mature workers.

Jobseekers in need are advised to seek guidance from Workforce Singapore (WSG), NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute, or any of the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Centres nationwide.

While the current statistics paint a picture of resilience, the MOM cautions that the employment growth rate has decelerated compared to the previous year. With business expectations taking a downward turn in September 2023, there is a foreseeable continued uptrend in unemployment rates. The comprehensive Labour Market Report for the third quarter of 2023, slated for release in mid-December, will offer an in-depth analysis, shedding more light on the employment nuances across different sectors.

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The Singapore economy is really bad and there are NO JOBS!!!

Meanwhile the US economy is growing at a scorching 4.9%!!! US economic growth accelerated to 4.9% in third quarter (
PAP basturds have really fucked up the Singapore economy in spite of their highest salaries in the world!!!

ROFL this MOM is full of TCSS in their surveys. Yes job opportunity on the rise but not for the true blue. It’s all dished out to you know who lah ha? See even the SPH Stomp media if have article about certain nationality, quickly disable comments. They know the resentment but choose to keep it there. KNN this gahmen. Ong Lai also quiet only after getting in.

Jobless Singaporeans are not counted in after a 6-month period.
SGov can only create low-end jobs with low values, e.g. PHV, food delivery, waiters, production operators and more.
Of course low unemployment rate….lol.
Like pos has said here, most Singaporeans should be underemployed actually.

If you keep bringing in foreigners with the same job skills as the resident population, wages will go down. The 23, 082 new citizens, what are their job skills? They should be able to purchase private housing with their own funds. They should not be allowed to buy Public Housing which are funded by taxpayers’. New citizens should not become a burden to the present population.

and … which sectors increased?
food deliveries? cab drivers? cleaners?
don’t tell us that’s a state secret (again) !!!

All the workers losing jobs are Singaporeans, while the CECA Foreign Trash from India are enjoying their job security.  In my company, all the Singaporeans have been laid off, but all the CECA Foreign Trash from India have their jobs. This is because all the managers and HR are CECA Foreign Trash from India and they are firing Singaporeans and keeping CECA Foreign Trash from India in the jobs. It is time to kick out millions of CECA Foreign Trash from India and create jobs for Singaporeans!!! Crazy and evil LHL has been screwing and backstabbing Singaporeans for the last… Read more »

70% pineapple tarts lovers : Are you affected? Are your jobs taken by foreigners? tsk tsk tsk

Again, MOM is slapping Ownself. Just some weeks back, data released showed Q3 gdp growth was a mere 0.7%, and earlier report(s)/data inferred that MOST employment growth went to non-Singaporeans. So MOM is admitting:

1) high import of labor/population, but that doesn’t get translated into high gdp growth for Singaporeans;
2) their policy model(s) still locked on low-cost, low-margin, low-everything jobs to (hopefully) drive our economy forward.

Most expensive monkeys, poor results. What does that says?

As usual nothing is fit for factual understanding to the layman.

How about productivity? What’s the value contribution per dollar wages of individual, Pinoy, individual Bangla, individual Msian just for eg.

Obviously they tell you while they do a good job with, being paid millions of dollars of salaries – but some statistics they don’t find important enough to study and collect.

Unemployment rate is low?

What about underemployment rate?