Singapore total employment sees declines in Q1
Singapore : Singapore jobless rate climbed to its highest in last 10 years and total employment fell to a record low in end-March quarter (Q1) ,as the labour market felt the early effects of COVID-19. The Ministry of Manpower, on June 15, said the overall unemployment rate crept up from 2.3 percent in the previous quarter to 2.4 percent.
The number of people working ,excluding maids, fell by 25,600 in the three months to March 31 on 2020. The unemployment rate among Singapore citizens rose from 3.3 to 3.5 percent, and among residents from 3.2 percent to 3.3 percent. Individuals unemployed for at least 25 weeks, remained at 0.9%.
Retrenchment rose from 2,670 to 3,220 in the first quarter , largely due to sectoral downtime.
The Ministry found that 1,537 local employees were affected by business closures in the January-March Q1 quarter of 2020 year, which is more than double the double the 628 from previous quarter.
An additional 4190 employees were placed on shorter work hours or furloughs- a five-fold increase from the 840 in the preceding quarter ,but lower than the 26,530 during the peak of the global financial crisis.
Singapore Manpower Ministry said ’employers are choosing to make temporary adjustments to manage excess manpower and reduce business cost instead of letting people go.’
‘Pay Now, Work Later’
However, Singapore firms turn to ‘Pay now, work later’ practice to avoid job cuts. The ration of job vacancies to unemployed persons tumbled to the lowest in last 10 years , from 0.84 to 0.71 in the first quarter. The food and beverage ,arts and entertainment , administrative sectors saw the largest declines in the job vacancy, while opening in areas like infocomm technology and healthcare increased .
In the crisis period, Singapore firms open up ‘Pay now, work later’ strategy to reduce the unemployment problem. That means , employees to be paid now but require work to be done later. By putting 50 percent without pay overtime when business resumed after the end of coronavirus pandemic . Also ,14 days annual leave entitlement would also be reduced to seven day after the crisis gone.
Many employees in Singapore have found themselves in the ‘Pay now,work later’ situation. The business that had applied for time-banking are mainly in the food and beverage, hotel, retail and manufacturing sectors.
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