The latest MAS report has offered a grim outlook for the employment and wages scene in Singapore.
Singapore residents who lost their jobs recently are finding it increasingly difficult to re-enter the workforce even as the employment outlook in the country remained sluggish, the Monetary Authority said in report.
A slowing GDP growth and an ageing population are crippling both labour demand and supply in the economy, suggesting that a cyclical drag on employment growth over the last few years is here to stay.
While the fundamentals remained negative for significant employment expansion, even cyclical job growth remained muted owing to the ongoing restructuring and consolidation in sectors such as manufacturing and retail trade, the report said.
At the same time, the supply of resident workers grew at a fairly stable pace, alongside a modest rise in the number of foreign workers, worsening the headwinds in the job market.
Citing the latest report by the ManpowerGroup Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, the MAS said there is a rise significant fall in the proportion of employers who believe headcount will be expanded.
While in the second quarter of 2015 as many as 14 percent of employers thought more jobs will be added only 10 percent believe so currently.
The report says that with lower labour demand and supply, total job creation this year is expected to stay modest. It says "overall and resident unemployment rates are likely to rise slightly in 2016."
Higher redundancies this year in sectors facing weak external demand and undergoing restructuring will worsen the outlook further.
The report also says Singaporean workforce will face a slower wage growth this year. "In line with subdued employment demand and reduced tightness in the labour market, wage pressures are likely to ease in 2016," the report said.
While overall resident wage growth was 3.5 percent in 2015, the growth this year will moderate to about 2.5–3.0 percent.
The report asks job seekers to equip themselves with the right skills to remain employable and enjoy higher wages even as the economy continues to restructure.