Job vacancies rise as Singapore labour market tightens

SINGAPORE — The tight Singapore labour market continues to push up the number of job vacancies with openings in September last year rising to 61,900, 9.7 per cent more than a year before, the Manpower Ministry said today (Jan 27).

Consistent with prevailing trends, services continued to generate the bulk of job openings, making up four in five of all vacancies last year.

Overall, there were openings across all occupational groups.

Commanding a quarter of total vacancies (14,530 vacancies) were positions for service and sales workers — like shop assistants, waiters and security guards — followed by positions for associate professionals and technicians, which had 9,550 vacancies, or 17 per cent of all openings.

Positions for cleaners, labourers and related workers had 8,250 or 14 per cent of all openings, while professionals also had 14 per cent with 8,090 openings.

By industry, manufacturing’s share of vacancies remained broadly similar over the year at 13 per cent while vacancies in construction decreased from 7.5 per cent in 2012 to 6.4 per cent last year.

Six in ten of all openings were vacant for less than six months, while vacancies unfilled for extended periods of over six months held steady at four in ten.

The proportion of openings which had difficulty finding locals to fill were unchanged from a year ago — at 66 per cent.

Employers cited unattractive pay and physically demanding tasks as the key reasons for Singaporeans not wanting to fill many lower-skilled occupations.

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