Experts Say COVID-19 Could Cause Up to 200K People to Lose Their Job in S’pore, The Worst in S’pore’s History


Covid-19 isn’t just scary to people’s health; it’s just as scary, if not scarier, to our wallets.

The Covid-19 pandemic has effectively thrown the world into chaos and stomped the global economy into the ground.

And for Singapore, it’s no different.

But with the one-month forced circuit breaker measures, it’s not just stomped into the ground; it’s stomped so hard it ended up in the B2 level.

Experts Say COVID-19 Could Cause Up to 200K People to Lose Their Job in S’pore

Experts from Maybank has predicted that with Singapore’s enforced circuit breaker, it will cause 150 to 200 thousand workers to lose their jobs.

The four-week “pre-emptive safety measures” essentially forces one-third of Singapore’s workforce into “hibernation”.

And this would break many businesses, even despite the government’s three stimulus packages.

“We think the short-circuit measures and one-month partial lockdown will break the camel’s back for many businesses. Many businesses will likely fail and a huge number of jobs will be lost in the coming quarters.”

The Worst in S’pore’s History

This number is huge and according to the experts TODAY spoke to, the highest number since Singapore’s independence:

“This will be the highest (number of) retrenchments in Singapore’s history since independence, far worse than during the global financial crisis, and the Asian financial crisis.”

Here are a few figures they gave for comparison:

  • During the whole of 2019: 10,690 retrenchments
  • 2008 to 2009 global financial crisis: 40,000 retrenchments
  • 1997 Asian financial crisis: 30,000 jobs lost

And It Could Get Worse

One month of circuit breaker measures cost Singapore’s economy $10 billion.

And if it was to be extended even further? That’s another $10 billion (or worse).

After all, it’s not a guarantee that Singapore will lift the circuit breaker measures on 4 May 2020.

It all depends on the number of local cases and unlinked cases that we have at that time.

So if you’re not, please start adhering to the safe distancing measures put into place by the government.

It’s Going To Get Worse Before It Gets Better

One thing for sure, though.


While the analysts all felt that there’s a chance for Singapore to pull through this, they agree that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

DPM Heng has acknowledged that it’s going to be painful, economy-wise, but making a trade-off is inevitable.

Just keep an eye out on schemes that the government is rolling out for people who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 to tide you over this period.

You can do your part as a responsible citizen through helping out in contact tracing by downloading the TraceTogether app.

In the meantime, keep yourself updated by bookmarking MOH’s website here and registering for the’s WhatsApp service here.