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1 in 10 Singapore workers looking for new job, 6 in 10 employers actively hiring: Survey

SINGAPORE — Only one in 10 workers here were actively looking for a new job, a survey found, contrary to another study that found one in four employees were looking to quit and move to a new job.

 

1 in 10 Singapore workers looking for new job, 6 in 10 employers actively hiring: Survey

Office workers seen at the Central Business District in Singapore.

  • A survey by NTUC LearningHub showed that just one in 10 workers were looking for a new job
  • It polled more than 650 working professionals across six industries
  • This finding was contrary to an earlier survey by job portal Indeed, which found that about one in four workers were planning to leave their current job in the first half of 2022
  • A labour economist said the latest findings showed that the “great resignation” phenomenon has “little basis in reality” in Singapore

SINGAPORE — Only one in 10 workers here were actively looking for a new job, a survey found, contrary to another study that found one in four employees were looking to quit and move to a new job.

Although most workers were not looking for a new job in the latest survey, about six in 10 employers indicated that they were looking to shore up their workforce and a similar proportion of workers said that they were open to job opportunities. 

These were the key findings released on Wednesday (Jan 26) by NTUC LearningHub, the labour movement’s training and learning solutions provider.

It polled more than 650 working professionals including employers and employees last month to uncover their perspective about the current job market, emerging jobs and skills, as well as the training landscape.

The respondents worked in six key industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Built environment
  • Trade and connectivity
  • Essential domestic services such as healthcare and education
  • Modern services such as infocomm technology and media
  • Lifestyle services, including food-and-beverage and retail

The findings in its Emerging Jobs and Skills report were contrary to a survey also done last month by job portal Indeed, which found nearly a quarter of Singapore workers were planning to leave their current employer in the first half of this year and almost half were unsure if they would stay in their jobs in the next six months. 

The report by Indeed said that the trend of people leaving their jobs was in line with the “great resignation”, a global phenomenon where large numbers of workers have either dropped out of the workforce or moved across industries over the last two years as the Covid-19 pandemic redefined needs and demands.

NTUC LearningHub said: “In our report findings, we uncovered that only a small talent pool, or 10 per cent, is actively job-hunting. While another 60 per cent are receptive to new employment, they may not have taken action yet.”

Labour economist Walter Theseira said NTUC LearningHub’s survey showed that the “great resignation” phenomenon has “little basis in reality” in Singapore, which is backed up by statistics he found that showed no unusual trend in turnover rate here. 

He added that the “great resignation” was coined in the United States following a high turnover rate in certain industries. However, these industries have historically struggled with talent retention, such as in lower-wage service roles. 

“Maybe there is an elevated resignation rate there, but I would argue that this is inconsistent with the narrative that the great resignation is driven by some soul-searching, where people are looking for more meaning in their jobs.

“If that was so, we would expect to see a lot of turnover in white-collar high education jobs,” Associate Professor Theseira said.

MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT JOB PROSPECTS

The latest survey found that both employers and employees were more optimistic about the job market as compared to the year before.

A majority of the employers, or 65 per cent, had also been hiring or intended to hire new people to meet their company’s business goals as the economy reopened in phases from the pandemic. 

Yet, nearly eight in 10 employers found it difficult to fill vacancies owing to a lack of candidates with relevant skills. In turn, 83 per cent of them had been training or were intending to train existing employees to meet business goals.

The survey found that the industries facing the biggest labour shortages were:

  • Modern services (87 per cent)
  • Manufacturing (83 per cent)
  • Essential domestic services (80 per cent)

Correspondingly, findings showed that employees working in these industries were least likely to actively look for new employment. 

Asked why they were not actively looking for a new job, the top three reasons given were:

  • Being satisfied with the current role (60 per cent)
  • Satisfaction with current pay (33 per cent)
  • Current company provided job security (24 per cent)  

Mr Anthony Chew Chwee Kim, NTUC LearningHub’s director of infocommunications technology, said: “To plug the skills chasm, companies could benefit from upskilling both existing and new employees to boost their workforce competencies and meet business objectives.”

Related topics

Jobs employment employers employees workforce NTUC LearningHub survey

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