Manufacturing, Information and Communication Sector Worst Hit by Unemployment

December 5, 201610:10 am959 views

The manufacturing industry has seen lack of lustre in performance this year, which has impacted the resident unemployment rate in the industry at 4.2 percent in June. This is worse than the construction and the services industry, where resident unemployment rates are both 3.5 percent, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) advance release of its report on the labour force for 2016.

In the services industry, resident unemployment rate was felt strongly in the Information and Communications sector at 5.5 percent, followed by accommodation and food services sector at 5.2 percent and the administrative and support services sector at 4.4 percent.

The accommodation and food services sector had an average monthly resignation rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, while the figure was 3.8 percent for the administrative and support services sector, well above the overall rate of 2 percent.

Ian Grundy, head of marketing and communications at recruitment consultancy Adecco Asia Pacific, said certain information and communications technology (ICT) sub-sectors were seeing “skills gaps”, such as computer programming and information services, which are constantly changing in terms of the skill sets needed.

“So, we can think of this as a transition period for the industry when unemployment increases and at the same time there are a number of job opportunities in the industry,” adding a similar situation can be seen in other sectors affected by disruptive technology, such as manufacturing.

Also clerical, sales and service workers had the highest resident unemployment rate at 5.3 percent. PMETs were at 3.1 percent and production and transport operators, cleaners and labourers stood at 3.5 percent. Discouraged workers refer to those outside of the labour force, who are not looking for a job because they believe their job search will not yield results.

The MOM also found that the number of “discouraged workers” had increased from 8,700 last year to 9,900 this year, although it remains below the 11,100 seen during the 2009 recession.

The MOM said reasons cited for being discouraged include the belief that no suitable work is available, employer discrimination such as the preference for younger workers, and lack of necessary qualifications, training, skills or experience. Residents aged 50 years and above without secondary qualifications formed the largest groups among those discouraged (69.5 per cent and 33.1 per cent, respectively), Today Online reports.


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