Look out for these Hiring Sectors in Singapore’s Labour Market

CareerSeptember 30, 2021 15:44

Written by Clare Chong

Covid-19 has impacted the labour market in various ways, and it’s not all doom and gloom contrary to conventional beliefs. If you are looking for a job recently, you may want to know which industries are actively hiring and performing well during this period.


The current unemployment rates in Singapore

The latest employment statistics as released by the Ministry of Manpower revealed that local unemployment figures in the second quarter increased to 2.8 per cent from 2.7 per cent while resident workforce figures moved up from 3.5 per cent to 3.7 per cent for the resident workforce. 

These figures are a welcomed improvement from 2020 and we are also performing much better than most countries in the West. The recent slight uptick in unemployment rates could also be attributed to companies letting go of workers in the most affected business due to the temporary tightening of COVID-19 measures lately. 


Sectors Performing Well amidst COVID-19
Sectors such as IT and insurance are 2 industries where there is no employment reduction throughout COVID-19. Since the start of 2020, approximately 10,000 individuals landed jobs in IT & Communications-- with 2021 Q2 seeing an impressive and unprecedented quarterly record of 3600 new jobs in this sector. 6200 people also found employment in the tech sector in the first six months of 2021, a nine-fold increase from H1 2020 and the highest in recent history.

The financial and insurance sector also saw 4100 job gains since the start of 2020, a healthy figure in one of the better-paid jobs in the local labour market. Professional services such as admin and legal also registered 2100 new jobs as compared to pre-pandemic times. Healthcare (12,600 jobs), Public Administration & Education (approximately 10,000 new jobs) and Transportation (3000 jobs) are also strong performers in the local hiring market.

Despite the healthy employment figures reported by the above sectors, whether these jobs are here to stay remains debatable. Currently, public administration and healthcare sectors would obviously require more workers due to the sharp increase in the provision of services that were not required prior to the pandemic. Nonetheless, these jobs provided some relief to job-seekers whose prior employment have been disrupted abruptly by COVID-19.

Moving Forward with a Qualitative Shift in the Labour Market
Indeed reported a 55.7 per cent increase in job postings in August 2021, a huge jump from 1 February 2020. This signals an accelerated return in employment for Q3 2021. Official statistics for the earlier quarter also indicates that job supply is exceeding demand for the first time since March last year as well.

While this sounds like great news for job seekers, there may still be a mismatch between the requisite skills for the role and candidate competencies. As many as 22,000 vacancies in the PME roles were unfilled way back in July, which would have a negative impact on Singapore’s economic growth.

It seems that the pandemic has created a qualitative shift in the local labour market, with advanced services performing well while industries that pay employees the least bear the brunt of pandemic disruptions (e.g. construction, manufacturing). The proliferation of the work from home (WFH) model has an impact on hiring as well, as workers are no longer required to be based in Singapore.

Are you keen to land a job in one of the well-performing industries reported above? What are some considerations you would keep in mind for your job hunt?

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