Job vacancies hit record high

Border restrictions and manpower demand in growth sectors have pushed job vacancies in Singapore to an all-time high of 92,100 in June, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

There were 163 job openings for every 100 unemployed persons in June. The ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons increased to above one for the first time since March 2019. These are seasonally adjusted figures.

“The ongoing border restrictions have affected the availability of manpower in construction and manufacturing,” said the MOM.

“There was also sustained demand in growth sectors like financial and insurance services, professional services, and information and communications.”

Meanwhile, resident unemployment continued to ease in the first half of this year, MOM’s second-quarter labour market report showed.

Overall, seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were at 2.7% in June this year, continuing a downtrend.

The seasonally adjusted resident long-term unemployment rate also dipped to 0.9% in June, from highs recorded in December last year and March this year (1.1%).

The labour market performance remains uneven across sectors, with sectors such as food and beverage (F&B) services seeing a temporary easing of demand, leading to an overall rise in the number of employees who were placed on short work weeks or temporary layoffs.

But such consumer-facing sectors, including F&B as well as retail trade, should start to recover as domestic restrictions are eased over the course of the year.

However, these sectors are not expected to return to pre-Covid-19 levels due to the subdued tourism outlook, the ministry cautioned.

Tourism- and aviation-related sectors also continued to be impacted by Covid-19 and are recovering at a slower rate.

MOM said these sectors are “projected to see a slow recovery as travel restrictions globally are likely to be lifted cautiously and global travel demand may also remain sluggish amidst the spread of more contagious strains of the virus”.

It added that activity in these sectors is expected to remain significantly below pre-Covid-19 levels even by the end of the year. — The Straits Times/ANN

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