The number of job vacancies has slid to a 4 year low of 47,600 last year end, but the number of job seekers increased in the same time period. 19,170 workers lost their jobs last year, which is a 23% climb from 2015, while average annual resident unemployment inched up 0.2% in 2015 to 3% last year.
In real terms, for every 10 job seekers in Singapore, 2 were unable to find a job last year. Job seekers are now taking a longer time to land a job, with the most badly affected being from the age groups of 30 to 39 and above 50 years old.
This is the worst job market situation since 2009, when the world was still recovering from the shock of the global financial crisis. Similar rates of annual resident unemployment, which examines the average yearly number of Singaporean citizens and permanent residents unemployed, were seen in the pre-crisis years of 2007 and after the financial crisis in 2009 - 2010.
The Ministry of Manpower blames the higher number of job losses on business restructuring and reorganization, coupled with rising business costs and an economic downturn.