Indeed Singapore Labour Market Snapshot – May 2021

Did the recent Phase 2 Heightened Alert dampen employers’ motivation on their hiring?

The short answer is yes.

It resulted in a steep drop in job postings, a 31.7% decrease at end-May versus mid-May. 

Given that HA triggered on 16th May, the reaction and response from employers are almost instantaneous.

With prior lockdown experience, employers are more prepared for the worst business scenarios and are responding by not incurring further costs in human labour.

Having said that, it is not doom and gloom. 

There are still 28.6% more job postings compared to February 2020, the trigger moment of Covid-19.

The recent HA may have added some friction but it is not changing the trajectory direction.

Hiring still varies considerably across occupations

Jobs are still in abundance although occupations in Food Prep, Community and Construction undergone a low double-digit dip in the 2nd half of May. 

Again, this is reasonable to expect a cautionary reaction from employers due to business impact from HA.

With historical data on how the Singapore government dealt with past spikes in COVID-19 cases, employers should be optimistic that we should be out of the doldrums very soon and any suspension in hiring should be a mere temporary measure.

Remote work opportunities still elevated

Jobs that are primarily remote are not spared either with a minor drop from 6.6% (of total job postings) to 6.1%.

Given my conversations with many HR professionals, there should be more companies willing to consider jobs that are fully remote.

I urge recruiters to make that indication front and centre as that is one segment of jobseekers that may prioritise your postings versus others.

Moving forward

As of this writing, Singapore’s COVID-19 task force is evaluating the timing and scope of reopening amid a fresh outbreak

This may have a material impact on employers’ decision to resume their hiring, especially in the Food & Beverage and in-person Personal Service occupations. 

Until we get better visibility that is supported by not more than single-digit daily COVID-19 cases, employers may continue to play the cautionary card

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Indeed May 2021
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