According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore’s GDP growth forecast for 2020 now stands at -4.0 percent. Overall unemployment rate rose over the quarter in March from 2.3 to 2.4 percent. Such news no doubt has cast a pall on job seekers and fresh graduates. What is the outlook for Singapore’s current job-hiring situation? JobStreet’s latest job report offers insights.
In a declining job market, the top five industries with the biggest drops in job ads are aerospace; grooming, beauty, fitness; retail; F&B, catering and restaurant; and event management and MICE. These industries have been directly affected by COVID-19 and the circuit breaker measures that have been put in place. Uncertainty is expected to loom post circuit breaker, as businesses are expected to recuperate at a slow rate.
The significant reduction in openings means current employees, as well as recently displaced candidates in these industries, now have to vie for a much smaller pool of jobs.
|Top 5 Industries with Biggest Drop in Ad||Drop in Ad||Applications per Job Ad|
As of end May 2020, there are over 33,000 job vacancies available on JobStreet. The top 10 industries that are actively hiring are as follows:
In particular, there was a 41 percent increase in job ads for security and law enforcement jobs, such as security officer, security supervisor and night security officer. Science and technology jobs registered the next highest increase at 20 percent, with opportunities ranging from microbiologist to research fellow, laboratory technician to research assistant.
This, however, does not mean that the industries are not themselves affected by the detrimental effects of COVID-19. For example, the number of job postings for the transportation, construction and manufacturing sectors have declined 55 to 75 per cent year on year. However, due to the sheer volume of job ads that companies in these industries continue to post, they remain the top industries that are still actively hiring.
Unsurprisingly, demand for jobs remains high with over 11 million job-related searches observed on Google in April. The following findings are curated from JobStreet’s internal data:
|Job Search |
|Job Search Ranking (Apr)||Job Search Ranking (Jan-Mar)|
An interesting observation is the surge in searches for temperature screening roles, which are a job opportunity directly stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. Searches for data entry jobs have also spiked by 162%, rising 13 ranks to become the second-most searched keyword. The spike could be attributed to the fact that recently retrenched workers were looking for a quick temporary job without requiring specific industry knowledge. With the circuit breaker coming into effect circa April, data entry jobs allow retrenched workers to work from home and still earn salaries to help them tide over the difficult periods.
Many job seekers, from retrenched workers to fresh graduates, are now seeking jobs with immediate start dates; some are even taking up part-time work to make ends meet. In view of this, JobStreet has launched #WorkNoww, a first-of-its-kind feature to help expedite the job matching process by enabling candidates to stand out and get noticed by employers looking to make immediate hiring decisions.
“Although the job market has softened across most industries, there are still companies that are hiring,” says Chew Siew Mee, Country Manager, JobStreet Singapore. “The #WorkNow initiative was born out of the idea of streamlining the job hiring process to help Singaporeans secure available jobs in the shortest time possible. With just a few easy steps, job seekers can now indicate to potential employers their immediate availability to work.”