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Job Vacancies 2017


  1. Employers filled vacancies more quickly in 2017 compared to the year before.  However, non-PMET positions remained harder to fill than PMET ones, mainly due to unattractive pay, work on weekends/public holidays and shift work. Reflecting the continuing shift towards higher value added jobs, the PMET share of job vacancies continued to rise in 20171. These are the key findings from the “Job Vacancies 2017” report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.

    Main Findings

    Fewer vacancies were unfilled for extended periods
  2. The proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months continued to decline, from 36% in 2016 to 33% in 2017. Non-PMET vacancies remained harder to fill than PMET openings. 49% of non-PMET vacancies were unfilled for at least six months, in particular among service and sales workers. Unattractive pay, work on weekends/public holidays and shift work continued to be reasons these openings were unattractive to locals.
  3. On the other hand, only 16% of PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months. They included openings for software, web & multimedia developers, which employers attributed to candidates lacking the necessary work experience and specialised skills.

    Nearly half of all vacancies were PMET positions
  4. The top PMET vacancies were in occupations such as software, web & multimedia developers, teaching & training professionals, commercial & marketing sales executives and management executives. By sectors, they were mainly in public administration & education, financial services, professional services, and information & communications.
  5. For non-PMET occupations, the vacancies were largely for security guards, receptionists, customer service & information clerks, shop sales assistants, waiters, cleaners, and material & freight handlers. By sectors, the non-PMET vacancies were mainly in administrative & support services, food & beverage services and retail trade, which typically had lower staff retention2.

    Academic qualifications were not the main consideration for hiring for 42% of PMET job vacancies
  6. For PMETs, academic qualifications were not the main consideration for filling 42% of PMET vacancies3. Such positions included civil engineers, commercial & marketing sales executives, and software, web & multimedia developers. However, these positions typically required working experience. For the majority (90%) of non-PMET vacancies, academic qualifications were not the main consideration when selecting candidates to fill the vacancies.

  7. As the nature of jobs continues to evolve with technology and industry transformation, mismatches will be a growing challenge. For employers that face difficulty in filling non-PMET jobs, more needs to be done to redesign and improve the quality of these jobs, as well as to facilitate job matching. To overcome skills mismatches particularly for PMET jobs, the Government’s wide range of SkillsFuture and Adapt and Grow programmes are available to help jobseekers to pick up the skills relevant to job openings. Employers should widen their pool of prospective candidates and tap on Government support to meet their hiring needs.

    For More Information

    The report is available on the Ministry of Manpower’s website at


  1. Data as at September 2017.
  2. These industries had recruitment and resignation rates which were higher than overall average. Source: Labour Market Report, Third Quarter 2017.
  3. Data first collected in 2017.