Labour Market Advance Release - Second Quarter 2022
1. Advance estimates for employment, unemployment, and retrenchments in 2Q 2022 indicate continued recovery of the labour market. Total employment rose, with
more residents finding employment, and non-resident employment rebounding strongly following the significant relaxation of border restrictions from April 2022.
Unemployment rates remained at pre-COVID levels, and the number of retrenchments also stayed low.
Total employment continued to expand due to increases for both residents and non-residents
2. Total employment (excluding Migrant Domestic Workers) expanded by 64,400 (or 1.9%) in 2Q 2022, at a faster pace compared to 1Q 2022 (42,000; 1.2%). A larger
proportion of the increase was attributed to non-residents, mainly in Construction and Manufacturing – sectors which have a lower share of residents. With the significant relaxation of border controls since April this year, employers in such sectors have been hiring to backfill positions and meet rising demand.
3. At the same time, more residents have found employment, especially in growth sectors such as Information & Communications, Professional Services, and Financial
Unemployment rates have remained largely unchanged since reaching pre-COVID levels2 in February
4. Unemployment rates have been trending downwards since peaking in October 2020, and held steady after reaching pre-COVID levels in February 2022, amidst a
tight labour market and record high number of job vacancies. In June 2022, unemployment rates were 2.1% overall, 2.9% for residents, and 3.1% for citizens.
Retrenchments are expected to remain low
5. The number of retrenchments also remained low (1,000) in 2Q 2022. As with recent quarters, business reorganisation or restructuring remained the top reason for
6. Going forward, we expect non-resident employment (which based on latest estimates remains below 2019 levels by about 10%) to continue growing at a robust
pace as it catches up to its pre-COVID level. Resident employment, which is expected to be about 4% above 2019 levels, will likely see subdued growth given the low
resident unemployment rate.3 However, global headwinds including strong inflationary pressures, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and a resurgence of the
COVID-19 pandemic in major economies such as China, may dampen demand.
7. Given the uncertainties that lie ahead, MOM encourages businesses to press on with transformation, diversify their non-resident workforce, strengthen their
Singapore core, redesign jobs, and offer flexible work arrangements to tap on more segments of the workforce, such as older workers and caregivers, so as to become
more resilient. Employers can tap on the following Government programmes:
a. The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) provides salary support for eligible employers to hire mature, long-term unemployed locals, persons with disabilities, and ex-offenders. The JGI has supported close to 709,000 local hires by 83,000 firms between September 2020 and February 2022. We have extended the JGI to
b. The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme (SGUP) offers attachment opportunities for mid-career jobseekers. From its launch until January 2022,
more than 7,200 locals have been placed into attachments, each receiving up to $3,800 in training allowances. This allows employers to better assess the
job-fit of mature jobseekers, while providing the latter with training and industry experience.
c. Employers can tap on the Support for Job Redesign under Productivity Solutions Grant to improve job quality and job attractiveness to workers. Workforce Singapore (WSG) also offers Job Redesign Reskilling Programmes to support employers in upskilling existing employees to take on enhanced job roles.
8. The Labour Market Report 2Q 2022, due for release in mid-September 2022, will provide more details – including the breakdown of resident and non-resident
employment4, sectoral breakdowns, number of job vacancies, labour turnover, and reentry rates among retrenched residents – to provide a fuller assessment of the labour market situation for the quarter. For more information on the trends for total employment change, unemployment rates, and quarterly retrenchments, please refer
to the Annex below.
For More Information
9. The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department website at https://stats.mom.gov.sg/.
10. For data requests and queries pertaining to the report, please reach out to the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.