It seems like just yesterday when the Singapore economy was humming along happily, and people were confident about a robust job market and low unemployment rate.
Now we’re in the midst of a pandemic — the unemployment rate is the highest in 10 years and we are all tightening our purse strings. Excluding domestic helpers, the number of people working in Singapore fell by 19,900 in the first quarter of 2020, and the overall unemployment rate rose to 2.4% from 2.3% in the previous quarter.
If you are looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to turn to industries where employers are willing and able to hire, rather than those that have been crippled by the pandemic.
That means giving industries like tourism, retail, food and beverage, and arts and entertainment a miss and looking for jobs in the following.
Top 10 industries hiring as of mid-2020 according to Jobstreet survey
A Jobstreet report put together in May 2020 and released on 9 June has identified the top industries in which employers are still actively hiring. The list was compiled by examining the more than 33,000 job vacancies available on JobStreet to see which employers were posting job ads.
The top industries that are hiring are:
3) Banking & Finance
5) Computing & IT
6) Security & Law Enforcement
7) Transportation & Logistics
9) Manufacturing & Production
The growth in job ads has been quite dramatic for some industries. For instance, the number of security and law enforcement job ads has risen by 41% compared to before the circuit breaker.
Industries worst hit by COVID-19
Some sectors have been badly hit by the pandemic and have thus seen a significant reduction in job openings. That means the number of candidates in these industries is likely to far outstrip the number of job vacancies.
These are the industries that have seen the biggest drops in job ads:
5) Event Management/MICE
Jobs that people are searching for
Right now, employers are generally in a good place as far as hiring is concerned, with more candidates vying for positions than before.
Searches have grown for jobs involving the following:
- Data entry: 162% growth – includes jobs involving data entry across a wide range of industries, such as administrative assistants, clinic assistants, customer service data entry and so on.
- IT: 41% growth – encompasses a full range of jobs from network administrators/engineers and IT project managers to help desk analysts and hardware technicians
- Human Resources: 20% growth – related jobs include HR business partners, employee satisfaction managers, compensation analysts and e-learning managers
40,000 public and private sector jobs to be created
As a response to rising employment, the government intends to create nearly 40,000 jobs as announced in the fourth Budget.
Of this, there will be 15,000 jobs in the public sector in areas such as early childhood education, healthcare and long-term care.
The government will also work with the businesses to create some 25,000 private sector jobs with roles such as computer engineers and machine operators.
Jobs in finance and tech
Keep your eyes and ears open for mass hiring exercises at big companies in the finance and tech industries.
DBS is looking to hire over 2,000 this year, with more than 1,000 of available roles being for fresh graduate trainees.
Also in the telecommunications sector, Singtel is looking to fill approximately 2,000 posts this year, 300 of which are for fresh grads, according to a recent report.
Some start-ups and SMEs have also started hiring en masse. In another report, local brand Secretlab, famed for its high-end gaming chairs, has 30 to 40 job openings, while delivery startup Ninja Van has 30 posts to fill, including some entry-level ones.
Read the news daily and follow companies on LinkedIn so you don’t miss any future announcements of hiring exercises.
Temporary jobs you can do now
Some of the new jobs available right now are only temporary, but in a crisis, any income is better than none. A temp job might also help you build some connections that could lead to a referral or a full-time job later on.
In addition, if you are a freelancer or business owner going through a fallow period but don’t want to abandon your dreams to take on a full-time job, a temp job can tide you through the next few months.
As mentioned earlier, the SGUnited Jobs initiative will create new jobs in Singapore to combat job losses.
The government also intends to create some short-term, temporary jobs in the fight against the pandemic, such as the $3,800 temp COVID19 test swabber role that was advertised last month. They are also going to continue hiring safe distancing ambassadors for up to $2,500 a month, as well as safe distancing enforcement officers.
Here are some SGUnited Jobs and SGUnited Traineeships currently available:
- HR executive, Workforce Singapore – 9 months contract, $2,000 to $2,500 a month
- International & Community Development Manager, Government Technology Agency – 11 months contract, $4,000 to $7,000 a month
- Business Analyst, Singtel – traineeship for fresh graduates, $2,500 a month
- Assistant Executive (Correctional Rehabilitation Services, RT), Singapore Prison Service – $2,050 a month
- UX Designer / Graphic Designer at Land Transport Authority – 6 month contract, salary undisclosed
- Temperature taker, Tempserv – $8 per hour, 8 hours per day, near Clementi MRT station
Is now the best time to change jobs?
Back in the pre-COVID days, employees were spoilt for choice and could easily jump from job to job. Those days are over, at least for now. Rising unemployment and increased retrenchment means that the job market is going to be flooded with candidates.
This means that unless you are one of the lucky few in a profession enjoying high demand and lack of candidates (eg. software engineer, data scientist), you might want to stick with your current job for the time being as the average employer probably has better bargaining power than you do.
There is one big exception: if your company or industry has been hit by COVID-19, you should definitely be on the lookout for new opportunities. Otherwise, you might find your head on the chopping board when it comes the time for your company to make a new round of retrenchments. And even if it doesn’t come to that, you might suffer a pay cut or end up doing 5 times the amount of work for the same pay because your employer couldn’t afford to keep everyone else on your team.
Whatever your reasons for looking for a new job, you’ll have to temper your salary expectations. With the economy tanking and a recession looming, salaries are going to be affected across the board. There is no better time than the present to take a long, hard look at your finances, search for ways to reduce your cost of living and learn to make do with less.