Like most of the rest of the world, Singapore enjoys an employment rebound after two years of coronavirus problems. Recent employment numbers show that hiring is increasing in the island nation. Unfortunately, it looks like employee wages will remain flat over the next 12 months.
Total employment showed a significant increase in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Resident employment, which accounts for both citizens and legal residents, outpaced nonresident employment for the first time in several years. This suggests an increased demand for employees in the tourism, retail, and food and beverage industries. Part-time jobs for students should also be vital.
COVID Shutdowns and Restrictions
When COVID made its way to Singapore, government reaction was similar to what was observed in the rest of the world. Offices were shuttered, non-essential businesses were temporarily closed, and people stayed home. Singapore’s economy was significantly affected by the resulting lack of tourism. It has not been a pretty picture.
Things are improving as the world slowly gets back to normal. In addition, technology is helping people find jobs quickly and efficiently. WorkClass.co, a leading hiring platform, relies on mobile technology and artificial intelligence to help job candidates find employment virtually anywhere in Singapore.
Technology platforms are changing the way companies hire by connecting candidates and HR managers without relying exclusively on in-person contacts. As such, it eases the hiring process considerably. That is important given that the majority of the world is still nervous about COVID despite every attempt to put it behind us.
Tens of Thousands of Jobs
The MOM reports an increase of 47,400 jobs during the fourth quarter, getting back to the actual hiring numbers. That is a net gain of nearly 50,000 jobs when you account for a 2,400 job decline in the previous quarter. Growth was spread across all sectors, with some seasonal employment opportunities growing faster.
MOM officials say they expect to see continued improvement through 2022. They are basing their predictions on a combination of easing COVID restrictions and more international travelers arriving.
Resident employees gained the most jobs in financial services, communications, and information technology. Other professional sectors did equally well in hiring residents. As for nonresident employees, they saw the most significant increases in the construction sector. MOM numbers indicate some 15,800 new construction jobs in the fourth quarter.
2021 will still show an overall decline in employment after three quarters of lackluster performance. Still, unemployment across the island state has fallen to 2.6% among both residents and non-residents. That is the reason for optimism.
Wages Will Remain Flat
Despite the excellent employment numbers out of Singapore, employees will have to be content with flat wages for now. Only 25% of the companies surveyed by MOM said they intend to raise wages during the first quarter of 2022. Companies say their biggest concern is rising business costs that could prevent significant wage increases this year.
Right now, inflation is a big problem in most developed countries. As long as inflation remains high, the cost of doing business will also stay high. Wages will suffer as a result, for both full-time jobs and part-time jobs for students.
Getting Back to Work
Overall, the good news in Singapore is that people are getting back to work. Companies are reopening their offices and calling employees back. Vacant positions are being filled by both residents and non-residents alike. Through it, all, Singapore’s economy should continue to maintain a position of strength.