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Singapore sees modest labour demand, moderate wage rises in 2016
SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Manpower (MOM) expects labour demand in the country to be modest and wages to rise at a more moderate pace in 2016.
Layoffs will continue to pick up in sectors facing weak external demand and undergoing restructuring.
"Manufacturing, in particular the marine segment, will continue to face softness in labour demand this year," MOM said in its latest report on the labour market. But domestic-oriented services such as community, social and personal services, and food and beverage services are still likely to see demand for labour, it noted.
"With the number of redundancies at its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2009, MOM is closely monitoring the current economic and labour market situation, and is strengthening employment support to help displaced locals re-enter employment," MOM said.
A total of 15,580 workers were axed in 2015, up from 12,930 in 2014.
"The increase in redundancies was accomplished by a decline in the rate of re-entry into employment among workers made redundant, with both trends reflecting the weaker economic conditions," MOM said.
While the unemployment rate remained low, at 2.8 per cent for residents in 2015, and job openings still outnumber job seekers, though the gap is narrowing, overall employment growth was only a fraction of those in 2014 and 2013.
Total employment in 2015 rose by 23,300, against 122,100 in 2014 and 131,300 in 2013