SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) jointly issued a stark warning to workers and businesses about an impending challenging year ahead.

The cautionary statement emphasizes the impact of disruptions to international trade and global supply chains. Workers face a heightened risk to job security, with retrenchment figures doubling in recent months.

NTUC’s annual survey on economic sentiments revealed that an alarming 40 per cent of 2,000 respondents fear potential job loss within the next three months. This represents a significant increase compared to the previous year’s survey, where only 25 per cent expressed similar concerns.

In tandem with job security anxieties, workers are grappling with the rising cost of living, further exacerbated by stagnant or declining wage growth. Sectors particularly vulnerable to these economic headwinds include electronics, oil and gas, chemicals, and food manufacturing.

SNEF President Robert Yap stressed the need for employers to proactively initiate transformative measures to navigate the challenges posed by disruptions. He stated that adapting and staying competitive in the face of uncertainties will be crucial for businesses to weather the storm.

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In response to the looming labour crisis, the labour movement announced a series of support measures for affected workers. These include comprehensive training programs, financial assistance, and upskilling initiatives for those displaced.

It also aims to introduce flexible work arrangements specifically designed to support caregivers and older workers during these trying times.

As Singapore braces for economic turbulence, we hope the preemptive measures and support mechanisms initiated by the Government-linked organisations can mitigate the adverse effects of the current headwinds and foster resilience within the workforce.