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Surge in retrenchments recorded for last quarter of 2022

Approximately 3,000 employees were retrenched across the Singapore economy in the last quarter of 2022.

The latest data from the Ministry of Manpower shows that these retrenchments came primarily from the electronics, information technology, and wholesale trade sectors, especially with manufacturing and services jobs. “Retrenchments in other sectors were stable,” the ministry advises.

The fourth quarter figures more than doubled the 1,300 retrenchments recorded in the third. Total retrenchments finished the year at 6,450, lower than the 8,020 recorded in 2021.

On the other hand, total employment (excluding migrant domestic workers) rose for the fifth consecutive quarter by 47,400. For the entire year, total employment grew by 231,700, or 3% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The ministry flagged higher inflation, geopolitical tensions and the uncertain global economic environment as factors that would impact the labour markets in the coming months.

“While hiring sentiments remain positive in the coming months based on company polls, the projected slowdown in economic growth in 2023 would likely ease the momentum of labour market improvements. With the recent uptick in retrenchments, unemployment rates could also trend higher,” the ministry said.

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