Singapore’s strong economic performance ushers in big on-year rise in job vacancies in September

SINGAPORE – Bouyed by the Republic’s robust economic recovery, the number of job vacancies rose 36 per cent to 50,200 in September last year, compared to the corresponding period in 2009.

The figure is the highest recorded since the Ministry of Manpower began the comparable series of reports in March 2006.

According to the latest report released by the ministry on Friday, job openings were highest for service and sales staff, professionals, associate professionals, and technicians.

Within these three groups, 44 per cent of all vacancies were openings for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) while three in ten were for clerical, service and sales workers and the rest for production and transport operators, cleaners and labourers (Corrected at 11:30 AM Feb 01, 2011).

Positions requiring at least a university degree made up the highest number of vacancies at 10,570, followed by openings requiring at least secondary qualifications at 9,840 – the latter reflecting the “strong demand for service and sales workers”, the ministry said.

Five in eight vacancies (63 per cent) last year required working experience, comparable with the proportion in 2009.

The report noted that the share of vacancies in the services sector has increased steadily from 68 per cent in 2006 to 75 per cent last year.

At the same time, the proportion of openings in the manufacturing sector fell from 26 per cent in 2006 to 17 per cent last year.

The ministry said the trend “partly reflects the continual restructuring of the sector towards high-tech and value-added activities”.

With the completion of major building projects, construction’s share of vacancies declined to 6.6 per cent last year, from 8.1 per cent in 2009.

It said that, due to the record level of job openings, the number of openings vacant for at least six months rose from 10,140 in 2009 to a five-year high of 15,360 last year. About two in 10 of these vacancies were for PMETs.

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