The job market for 2019 has turned out to be better than predicted

The Business Times, 25 Dec 2019

By CHUANG PECK MING

2019 turned out better than forecast; poll of 630 employers in Singapore shows 13% ready to boost staff for Q1 2020

The job market for 2019 has turned out to be better than predicted – and many private-sector economists and recruiters are looking at stepped-up hiring in the year ahead, with real salary hikes for 2020 expected to surpass this year’s.

At this time last year, economists and recruiters had forecast weaker job creation for 2019. The Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) latest data, however, shows otherwise.

Excluding foreign maids, employment growth in the first nine months of the year was “the highest in five years” – even as the Singapore economy continued to soften.

Yet the pessimists were not totally off when they predicted that job-seekers would have a harder time finding jobs in 2019.

Figures in MOM’s labour market report for the third quarter of 2019 showed the unemployment rate and retrenchments creeping up, while job openings were still falling – indicating that hiring sentiment had been cautious.
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