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Latest labour market report shows fewer retrenched workers are able to find jobs

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The latest report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday shows that while fewer workers were retrenched in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, there have also been fewer retrenched workers who were able to find another job.

MOM reports that 2,860 workers were retrenched in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 3,030 retrenched workers in the second quarter of this year. Compared to 11,040 workers who were retrenched in the fist nine months of 2017, a lower number of 8,220 people were retrenched in the first nine months of 2018.

MOM pointed to business restructuring and reorganisation as the top reasons for retrenchments in the report.

The report, however, also shows that only 62 per cent of workers who were retrenched six months ago found another job in the last quarter. This is lower than the 64 per cent of workers who were able to find a new job in six months in the second quarter.

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The report also suggested that the labour market is not as tight as some may expect it to be since an increase in the number of unemployed workers and a decline in vacancies has caused the job vacancies to unemployed persons ratio to drop to 1.05 in Sept from 1.10 in June.

Despite the drop in the job vacancies to unemployed persons ratio, MOM reports that there are still more job vacancies than job seekers and that half of the vacancies in September were for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs).

The MOM report also showed that the number of hours Singapore resident works has been declining since a peak in 2010.

The report said that each employee worked an average of 44.9 hours (comprising of standard work hours and paid overtime) weekly, this September. This translates to an average of 8.98 hours a day for a five-day work week. In Sept 2010, each employee worked an average of 46.3 hours or 9.26 hours a day for a five-day work week.

MOM claimed that unpaid overtime, hours spent checking work emails or carrying out other regular tasks at home, and all other forms of overtime also show a steady decline over time.

Netizens, however, have opined that the trends captured in the MOM report may not accurately capture the realities on the ground.

Blasting the Ministry and asking where they got their statistics, several netizens have expressed that their relatives and coworkers work far longer than the average hours MOM says Singapore residents work:

https://theindependent.sg.sg/where-do-you-get-your-numbers-mom-report-claiming-singapore-residents-work-fewer-hours-since-2010-draws-flak/

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