More workers were laid off last year, with Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) more vulnerable to redundancy, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.
A total of 11,560 workers were laid off last year, slightly more than the 11,010 in 2012. Against a larger pool of employees, this works out to 5.8 workers made redundant per 1,000 employees — unchanged from 2012.
PMETs had a higher redundancy rate at 7.3 workers laid off for every 1,000 PMETs, compared with production and related workers (5.7 per 1,000) and clerical, sales and service workers (2.8 per 1,000).
They also took longer to find employment again as they tend to spend more time seeking jobs that match their skills, qualifications and salary expectations, which weighed down the overall rate of re-entry into employment.
Two-thirds of residents made redundant in the first three quarters of last year found jobs within 12 months. This was slightly lower than the rate of 68 per cent experienced by the preceding cohort.
Nonetheless, the MOM said the number of residents laid off from PMET positions was not large at 4,940. The unemployment rate of PMETs also remained lower than that of other occupations.
Manufacturing workers were the most vulnerable, with 13 made redundant per 1,000 employees, up from 10 in 2012, as layoffs rose in manufacturing from 4,050 in 2012 to 5,000 last year.
The MOM said, overall, the top reason for redundancy was the restructuring of business processes, reflecting the ongoing productivity drive.
This affected 40 per cent of workers laid off last year, up from 37 per cent in 2012.
Other reasons cited included high operating and labour costs as well as business reorganisation.