MOM Releases Retrenchment & Unemployment Numbers for April to June & It’s Proven to Be Worse Than SARS

You’ve been hearing all about how Singapore is entering a technical recession.

And how that’s bad news for Singapore’s jobs and employment rate.

But exactly how bad is bad?

Well, according to MOM’s latest numbers, it’s worse than SARS.

MOM Releases Retrenchment & Unemployment Numbers for April to June & It’s Proven to Be Worse Than SARS

Here are the cliff notes for the numbers:

  • Retrenchments have increased by 108% to 6,700 between April to June 2020, compared to 3,220 in the Jan to Mar 2020 period.
  • Overall population unemployment rate: Increased 0.5% [2.4% in March to 2.9% in April 2020]
  • Singapore residents unemployment rate: Increased 0.6% [3.3% in March to 3.9% in April 2020]
  • Singapore citizens unemployment rate: Increased 0.5% [3.5% in March to 4% in April 2020]
  • The number of jobs available in Singapore has shrunk by 121,800 in the second quarter of 2020, more than 4x worse than the first quarter where total employment only shrunk by 25,600.

Compared to SARS, where there were only 5,510 retrenchments, Covid-19 has proven itself deadlier to Singapore’s economy.

The good news is we’re still below the peak of the Global Financial Crisis back in 2008 where there were 12,760 retrenchments.

But…remember: this is only the beginning of COVID-19.

A Drop Across All Three Sectors

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also said that there was an increase in retrenchments across all three broad sectors in the second quarter.

The broad sectors are (in the order of their degree of seriousness):

  • Services
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing

In the services sector, the highest-affected industries are:

  • F&B
  • Retail
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  • Education

Construction also saw a “steep decline in employment” while manufacturing’s employment contract is “modest” (read: not too bad) when compared to the other two.

In short, it’s not looking great.

Image: Giphy

It’s Not Going To Look Great For The Foreseeable Future

According to Ms Josephine Teo, who is still the Manpower Minister, the outlook for Singapore is still uncertain.

The global economy is weak, the global demand is weak.

Companies are going to be more careful about managing their costs (read: getting more people in).

And while demand has increased after the Circuit Breaker, and more places are able to open, business in Singapore won’t be able to sell as much or accommodate as many people as before.

With that thought in mind, hiring will also not be as great as pre-Covid-19.

It was added that the Singapore government has anticipated this scenario, which is why they have started making plans and preparations a long time ago.

Be Prepared To Grind

I think it goes without saying but be prepared to grind. But that’s not all.

Be prepared to grind and toil at jobs that are less than ideal.

Total employment has shrunk by 147,500 in Singapore for the year 2020.

The Singapore government has pumped in money to create 100,000 jobs, not all of which are full-time jobs.

It’s a mix of traineeships, jobs and training programmes.

In other words, not everyone will be able to get a full-time job throughout this period.

MOM said that people should look for attachment opportunities or training programmes if they are unable to get a full-time job.

At least this way, they pointed out, people can keep themselves relevant so that when the economy recovers and more jobs are available, they can get hired quickly again.

Here’s a little article that might just help you get started: