Job vacancies hit new high in first quarter as companies fill positions and hire to meet demand

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s labor market continues to tighten, with job vacancies hitting a new high in the first quarter of this year despite a slower growth rate.

This comes as some companies are posting vacancies to fill positions and hiring to meet growing demand.

The number of job vacancies rose to 128,100 in March from 117,100 in December, according to a labor market report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday (June 17).

The ratio of vacancies to unemployed also increased to 2.42, or more than two vacancies for every unemployed person.

MOM attributed the figure – the highest since 1998 – to “a drop in the number of unemployed and an increase in job vacancies”.

However, the 9% rate of increase is slower than the 17% seen in the previous quarter, the ministry said.

The bulk of vacancies were in construction and manufacturing, primarily for non-professional, managerial, executive and technical (non-PMET) roles typically filled by migrant workers, as well as PMET roles in financial services , information and communications, public administration and education and professional services sectors.

Overall, total employment, excluding migrant domestic workers, rose by 42,000 in the first quarter of this year, slightly less than the increase of 47,900 in the previous quarter.

The hiring of non-resident workers accounted for most of the growth in total employment. This was prompted by the gradual lifting of border restrictions and employers filling a backlog of vacancies for jobs that depend more on migrant workers, MOM said.

Still, nonresident employment in March remained 15% below pre-pandemic levels.

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