Adecco have reacted to the latest Labour Force in Singapore data. we’ve compiled an overview of our initial thoughts. They note that a key observation from the report are the strong signs of a rallying economy, with a more positive outlook moving into 2018. Adecco observe a pick-up in hiring, across several industries, as companies seek to increase their headcounts to support greater operational activities. Comparing year-on-year, the resident employment rate has trended upwards from June 2016 to June 2017 for those aged 25 to 64 (increasing from 80.3 per cent to 80.7 per cent), and amongst residents aged 65 and over (increasing from 25.5 per cent to 25.8 per cent).
The company also says there has been an increasing trend of companies introducing Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA), in particular to support mothers looking to re-enter the workforce. Such arrangements include working on a part-time basis, having the option to work from home, and flexible start and end times. We have also observed some companies providing greater support to their employees through setting up childcare services in their office. This could be a contributing factor to the increase in female share of the labour force from 43 per cent in 2007, to 45 per cent in 2017.With family responsibilities listed as the top reason for females remaining outside the labour force (at 41.7 per cent), companies looking to attract talent could look at initiating ‘smart working’ alternatives and providing greater support to both fathers and mothers to enable them to balance their work and familial responsibilities.
Another trend identified is the increase in the resident population pursuing education/training-related opportunities, particularly amongst youths. Given the ever-changing business landscape and nature of jobs, this is a positive sign as a greater percentage of the workforce seeks to upgrade their skillsets and knowledge to meet evolving talent needs by businesses. This has been highlighted as one of the potential reasons, in the form of the enhanced ‘Adapt & Grow programmes’ by the government, that the unemployment rate for PMETs dropped from 3.1 per cent in 2016 to 3.0 per cent in 2017. There has also been an improvement in the long-term unemployment rate for PMETs, from 0.9 per cent in 2016 to 0.7 per cent in 2017.
On the part of jobseekers, Adecco believes they will have to embrace lifelong learning throughout the entirety of their career, whether they are currently employed or not. Given that more youths are pursuing further education, one way that these youths could differentiate themselves when entering the workforce would be to pursue opportunities (i.e. taking up internships or project/contract roles) which enables them to apply their skills and showcase their abilities.