Experts Say Jobs Support Scheme Should Continue for Struggling Companies & Lower-Income Workers

While many people, including the cats at Goody Feed, are cheering at Phase Two, there’s a selected group of people who might not be as happy: The bosses.

After all, the financial support given by Cai Shen Ye, sorry, I mean East Coast Heng was because businesses were forced to shut down temporarily and people are made to stay home as much as possible.

Now that Singapore is gradually opening up again with businesses following suit, the Jobs Support Scheme which many businesses depended on to weather the tough time is withdrawing.

But the fact remains that people are still not as inclined to come out and eat, and with the economy so unstable, people are not spending too.

As BuffLord95 would say, “Liddat how ah?”

Image: Giphy

Well, some experts have a suggestion to make to the government.

Experts Say Jobs Support Scheme Should Continue for Struggling Companies & Lower-Income Workers

Analysts say that the Singapore government should consider extending the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) beyond August.

It won’t be extended for every company, however, just companies that are struggling and low-income workers.

The JSS is supposed to end after Aug 2020 with the payout made in Oct 2020.

Economists reportedly expect the government to continue with the scheme as withdrawing it now will cause many businesses to fold and many people to lose their jobs.

Bank of America economist Faiz Nagutha said “it’s too soon” as the economy isn’t stable yet.

Government Now Thinking Of How To Salvage The Situation

DPM Heng Swee Keat had said that the authorities are “discussing further steps to improve the situation”.

He added that details will be announced soon.

The government’s focus is on two areas:

  • Immediate: protecting the livelihoods of workers, creating jobs and training opportunities
  • Long(er) term: How to make the Singapore economy emerge stronger after Covid-19

Retrenchment & Unemployment Rate In 2nd Quarter Of 2020

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently unveiled the retrenchment and unemployment numbers for Singapore from April to June 2020.

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And even with government support, retrenchment numbers have already surpassed those during the 2003 SARS period.

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.

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):


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  • 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.


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Manpower minister Josephine Teo also saw fit to reveal that it’s unlikely that things will improve in the foreseeable future.

The global economy isn’t doing great, companies are going to be more careful with managing costs, which will impact hiring.

And as the economy slows down, people spend lesser, which leads to lower demand and lower revenue for businesses in Singapore, which will lead to companies having to cut cost, so on and so forth.

In short, a vicious cycle.

So if you don’t have a full-time job, and you can’t get a full-time job, leverage on attachment and training opportunities to keep yourself relevant and updated so that when the economy recovers, you’re ready to be hired again.


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