The Labour Market Report 2022 is out and here is what you need to know

Name: Labour Market Report 2022

Takeaway: Singapore’s labour market has performed well. Total employment grew by an unprecedented 227,800 and has recovered to 2.9 per cent above pre-pandemic (2019) levels. 

What a big jump! Do we have that many job vacancies in Singapore? Well, there were a total of 104,500 job vacancies in December 2022. While the number of job openings declined for the third consecutive quarter in 2022, it was still at an elevated level compared to the pre-pandemic period (52,900). In that sense, the labour market in Singapore remained tight in 2022.

That is welcomed news, but retrenchment must be high since tech companies have been dropping their employees like flies. Retrenchments indeed doubled to 2,990 in the fourth quarter of 2022. According to data, most of those who were retrenched were working in Wholesale Trade, Electronics Manufacturing and Information & Communications, which are outward-oriented sectors facing global headwinds.   

This is depressing. Should I be worried now? Well, no. It is not all doom and gloom since the prospect of finding new jobs remained positive. Forward-looking data have shown that most firms in December 2022 had plans to hire more employees in the following months. Moreover, around 73 per cent of retrenched workers surveyed found employment within six months.

So do the remaining 27 per cent stay unemployed? Of course not. After all, unemployment rates

(overall: 2 per cent; resident: 2.8 per cent; citizen: 2.9 per cent) and resident long-term unemployment rate (0.6 per cent) remained low in December 2022. Many workers find jobs eventually with the help of WSG career centres that help them improve their employability. Moreover, there are workers who use their career breaks to upgrade their skills

Does that mean going back to school? Not necessarily because learning can take place in many settings. What we need to do is to cultivate the habit of lifelong learning so that we stay competitive in this rapidly changing world. Remember, without upgrading consistently, we will be doing ourselves a disservice if we let our skills become obsolete.

That makes sense. So what can I do to get myself future-ready? Check out the SkillsFuture and Workforce Singapore websites for a list of courses, training grants and programmes that would help you attain mastery of skills and secure a better future. 

Wow, who knew the Labour Market Report could provide this much insight? I guess that is what you call the magic of data science. In this case, analysing the labour market situation in Singapore helps the Government develop timely policies (i.e. SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme, Green Skills Committee) to groom local talent, support industry needs and create good jobs and opportunities for all Singaporeans. 

It is a lot of data to sieve through. So what do they tell me about the future job market? Brace yourself, but there might be a moderation of labour demand as economic growth is projected to slow. 

Are you trying to tell me there are no jobs? Definitely not, because having a far-sighted and pragmatic party at the helm means Singapore will always remain one step ahead. Have you heard of the Singapore Economy 2030 vision? It is a plan to grow our trading volume, enterprises, manufacturing and service sectors to build a vibrant economy. 

Oh, how would I capitalise on that? Not to sound like a broken record player, but upskilling and reskilling are the key to seizing future opportunities and staying relevant. 

And that means…Start visiting the SkillsFuture, MyCareersFuture and Workforce Singapore websites to find out how you can maximise your career potential by picking up a new skill. 

Keen to read the full Labour Market Report? Click here to download a copy.

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