29 June 2020
The labour market is under considerable strain this year, with businesses are postponing recruitment of fresh candidates.
Out of 266 firms recently polled by a local recruitment and employment agency, 38 per cent of companies expect headcount to fall in the July to September quarter, while 46 per cent expect no change and 5 per cent are unsure.
However, ManpowerGroup Singapore country manager Linda Teo said that
“Amid the bleak hiring climate, job seekers can still find pockets of opportunities, especially in the public administration and education sector.”
Preliminary data from the Manpower Ministry released in April showed that total employment in Singapore plunged by 19,900 in the first quarter.
Singapore university graduates are indeed having trouble finding employment that either match their expectations or are relevant to their freshly obtained degree.
A uptick in lack of gainful employment among the young has serious consequences for Singapore. Research has shown that young people who are unemployed experience a negative impact on their well-being. A slower start in life would also result in lower lifetime earnings and overall reduced opportunities in life.
The situation in Singapore is not anywhere as dire as that in other parts of the developed world, but it nonetheless needs to be addressed. That there is even an acronym — NEET (not in education, employment or training) — for this group of young people, shows how serious the problem is.