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16 February 2016

Vol.151 (En)

Please contact us at 9672-0104 or send email to (Mr. Terunuma)

Will the salary and job vacancies keep rising?

Singapore employment market trend

The recent opinion by Manpower Correspondent Toh Yong Chuan of Straits Times Newspaper was attention-grabbing.

Starting with its headline "It's not all rosy for job seekers", the article introduced latest announcement by the Ministry of Monpower: 4 in 10 job vacancies are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) and there were 116 positions for every 100 job seekers last year.

One week prior to this announcement, it also revealed that Singapore citizens median income from work jumped by 7% last year.

Both news give us such an impression that now we can cheer about higher salaries, more jobs than job seekers with choices of professional positions.

But he says "Wait".

He points out that the data were captured in last year - the median income in June and the vacancies in September. It does not reflect the current donwbeat of global economic mood.

In addition, we should not be proud of PMET jobs making up 4 in 10 vacancies, because half of working Singaporeans are already in PMET jobs. This indicates that the proportion of vacancies for PMET positions are less than the proportion of Singaporeans employed in them.

He says that the Singapore labour market is spilitting into 2 clear tracks. The fact is that there are more than 16,400 jobs for positions such as guards, waiters, cleaners and shop sales assistants that have few takers. 4,800 well-paid PMET jobs for positions such as restaurant managers and sales executives remain unfilled because prospects lack skills or experience. This mismatch can widen.

"For now, Singaporeans will benefit from the tight labour market. But the tide can easily turn", he gives a kind warning. Headhunters see the sign of slower wage growth this year, too.