A total of 15,580 workers were laid off in Singapore last year, which was 20.5 percent more than in the previous year 12,930, the latest employment report has shown.

The number of redundancies reported in the country in the last year was the highest since the global financial crisis in 2009, the data released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed.

The ministry also said total employment growth grew by 0.9 percent last year, which was the lowest growth since 2003.

Most of those who lost jobs were professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). In 2009, more than 23,000 people had lost their jobs.

"MOM is closely monitoring the current economic and labour market situation, and is strengthening employment support to help displaced locals re-enter employment," the repot, published on Tuesday, said.

As per the report, the ministry expects to see redundancies rising in sectors facing weak external demand and those that are undergoing restructuring. However, domestic-oriented sectors will still have appetite for workers.

Excluding foreign domestic workers, total employment in 2015 grew only 0.7 percent, compared with 3.7 percent in 2014 and 4.2 percent in 2013.

In January, a report had shown that Singapore added fewer jobs in 2015 than any other year since 2003.

The city state, which is an attractive destination for global talent, created only 31,800 additional jobs last year, making it the worst year since 2003 and indicating that the global economic slowdown has visible impact on the island economy.

Singapore expects the growth in local workforce numbers will remain muted for the next five years, Manpower Minister Lim Swee said in January.