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JOB vacancies fell year on year to 60,000 in September 2015 amid softer economic conditions and Singapore's continued efforts to restructure towards a more productive and manpower-lean economy.
That said, the number of job vacancies was still more than the number of jobseekers. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the ratio between the job vacancies and unemployed persons fell for the second consecutive quarter to 116 openings per 100 job seekers in September 2015, from 121 in June and 143 in March.
The decline in vacancies was broad-based for all occupational groups. However, openings remained available for all occupations. And four in 10 of job vacancies were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). They made up 23,220 or 43 per cent of total vacancies, and included positions such as teaching and training professionals, management executives, commercial and marketing sales executives and software, Web and multimedia developers.
These were the key findings from the "Job Vacancies 2015" report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower (MOM), released on Wednesday.
The proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months (39 per cent) fell slightly from a year ago (41 per cent). Occupations in higher demand and turnover such as service and sales workers and cleaners, labourers and related workers remained more likely to be hard to fill.
Employers indicated unattractive pay, long working hours, physically strenuous job nature and shift work as difficulties in recruiting locals to fill non-PMET openings.
On the other hand, only about two in every 10 PMET openings were unfilled for extended periods. For PMETs, unattractive pay and the lack of necessary work experience were common reasons for hard-to-fill openings.
"Companies will have to improve the quality and attractiveness of their jobs to fill up their vacancies faster. Likewise, jobseekers will also have to make themselves more employable and adaptable to land a job faster," the report added. "Going forward, MOM will continue to work with tripartite partners to strengthen the Singaporean core in the workforce by creating more quality jobs to meet the rising career aspirations of Singaporeans; equipping Singaporeans with the right skills and competencies through SkillsFuture; and better matching them with higher-skilled jobs in the economy."