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Redundancy and Re-entry into Employment 2015

Redundancies mainly due to business restructuring and softer economy; Residents less vulnerable and unemployment remained low


  1. On-going business restructuring and softer economic conditions were among key reasons for redundancy1 in 2015. Residents were less vulnerable to redundancy than foreigners. The re-entry rate2 dipped, but remained within a stable range. Even though more people were laid off, the unemployment rate remained low and job vacancies continued to outnumber job seekers. These are the key findings from the report on “Redundancy and Re-entry into Employment 2015” released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.

    Main Findings

    Firms cited business restructuring and softer economy as the main reasons for redundancies in 2015
  2. Redundancies in 2015 (15,580, up from 12,930 in 2014) were mainly due to on-going business restructuring and softer economic conditions. The increase in redundancies came mainly from manufacturing and professional services3, associated with the fall in global oil prices and a slowdown in marine and construction demand. Redundancies also rose in wholesale trade and financial services, amid global economic uncertainties, on-going restructuring and reorganisation of businesses.

    Residents remained less vulnerable to redundancy
  3. Residents continued to be less vulnerable than foreigners to redundancy, as their share of redundancies (58%) remained lower than their two-thirds share in employment. The incidence of redundancy among residents (7.1 layoffs per 1,000 employees) was also lower than foreigners (7.7 per 1,000) in 2015.

    81% of residents who re-entered employment took three months or less to secure a new job
  4. 66% of residents made redundant in the first nine months of 2015 found employment by December 2015. While it dipped from 68% in 2014, the rate remained within a stable range. The decline in re-entry rates was observed across age and occupation groups. 81% of residents who re-entered employment took three months or less to secure their new job, broadly similar to past cohorts.

    PMETs and older workers more at risk of redundancy
  5. Among residents made redundant in 2015, those aged 40 and over (65%) formed the majority. PMETs (8.9 layoffs per 1,000 employees compared to the overall 7.4) remained more vulnerable to redundancy than other occupational groups, continuing the trend since 2012.

  6. The labour market remained tight in 2015, with the unemployment rate remaining low4. Job vacancies continued to outnumber job seekers. However, amid on-going restructuring and softer economic conditions, redundancies have risen since 2010. MOM will continue to closely monitor the economic and labour market situation, and work with tripartite partners to strengthen employment support to help displaced locals re-enter employment.

    For More Information
  7. The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower’s website at It provides comprehensive analysis on the incidence of redundancy, reasons for redundancy, profile of establishments with redundancy, time taken to secure re-entry into employment and the shift in industry among those who re-entered employment.


  1. Data pertain to private sector establishments (each with at least 25 employees) and the public sector. Redundancy comprises retrenchment and early release of contract workers due to redundancy.
  2. Data are based on CPF records.
  3. Among professional services, engineering services formed the bulk of increase in redundancies in 2015.
  4. The annual average overall unemployment rate for 2015 was 1.9% (residents: 2.8%; citizens: 2.9%). Source: Labour Force Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM.