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Job Vacancies 2018 report


  1. As the economy grew, a sizeable share of the 63,300 job vacancies in 2018 was for new positions created as a result of business formation and expansion. When hiring, employers are increasingly looking beyond academic qualifications to consider a wider pool of candidates with the relevant skills or working experience.
  2. For job vacancies that were unfilled for extended periods, mismatches in expectations on pay and working conditions were the main reasons cited. Employers are encouraged to redesign jobs to make positions more attractive to locals. These are the key findings from the “Job Vacancies 2018” report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower. 

Main Findings

Job opportunities available across all sectors

  1. In 2018, four in ten job vacancies were for new positions created as a result of business formation and expansion. These vacancies were commonly from community, social & personal services (education, healthcare), manufacturing (electronics, transport equipment) and information & communications.

One in three job vacancies were unfilled for at least six months

  1. The proportion of vacancies unfilled for six months or more held steady at 34%. Non-PMET vacancies remained harder to fill than PMET openings. Unattractive pay, physically strenuous job nature, work on weekends/public holidays and shift work continued to be reasons these openings were unattractive to locals. On the other hand, employers commonly cited lack of candidates with the necessary specialised skills or work experience for PMET vacancies that were hard to fill by locals.

Employers are increasingly going beyond academic qualifications when hiring

  1. More employers looked beyond academic qualifications when hiring. The proportion of PMET vacancies where academic qualification was not a main consideration increased from 42% in 2017 to 52% in 2018. For these positions (including software, web & multimedia developers, systems analysts and commercial & marketing sales executives), employers placed stronger emphasis on skills or relevant working experience instead.

Positions in technical, analytical and healthcare roles saw significant growth in demand

  1. ICT, finance and business development related PMET positions were most sought after, such as software, web & multimedia developers, systems analysts and commercial & marketing sales executives. There was also an emerging demand for technical and analytical roles, such as chief information officers, compliance officers or risk analysts and database designers & administrators.
  2. For non-PMET positions, while vacancies for cleaners, shop sales assistants and security guards ranked at the top, the demand for these jobs has declined with ongoing industry transformation efforts. On the other hand, healthcare assistants saw an increase in vacancies, amid rising healthcare demand.


  1. Technology can create new jobs that are of better quality.  The programmes by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) under the Adapt and Grow initiative support workers to up-skill and re-skill for new job roles with good career prospects.  We encourage employers to continue to look beyond the academic qualifications of potential candidates, so that they can tap on a wider workforce.
  2. For jobs that are less attractive to local job seekers, employers can take advantage of technology to improve their job quality.  The Lean Enterprise Development (LED) Scheme and Capability Transfer Programme (CTP) help companies stay productive and competitive through technology adoption, with support provided to equip workers with the necessary capabilities to adapt and take up new opportunities.