Singapore company formation specialist Rikvin is optimistic that Singapore’s employment market is still in the pink, compared to other major economies in the eurozone.
In light of a cloudy global economic outlook, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has recently announced a downgrade of its Global Employment Outlook for 2012 and 2013. The United Nations tripartite agency revised its global unemployment rate forecast to approximately 6.1% this year and 6.2% next year. Additionally, ILO said that it expects the global unemployment trend to be sustained around 6% until 2016.
On the other hand, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) – the agency responsible for administering the singapore work visa – has recently published the Employment Situation Report for Q1 2012. The report shows that employment creation has remained strong.
In gist, the Report supplied that three main takeaways:
1. Singapore’s total employment has grown by 27,400 in Q1 2012, primarily due to the services and construction sectors. This number is lower than the employment figures recorded in the same period last year (28,300) and in the previous quarter, Q4 2011 (37,600).
2. Approximately 2,700 workers were laid off in Q1 2012. This figure represents a decline from the previous quarter (3,250) and a slight decrease vis-a-vis Q1 2011 figures (2,750).
3. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, Singapore’s overall unemployment rate increased by 0.1% to 2.1% between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Similarly, the unemployment rate rose over the same period for residents by 0.1% to 3.0% and citizens from by 0.2% to 3.2%. This amounts to approximately 59,100 residents (inclusive of 52,800 Singapore citizens).
Analysis by Rikvin shows that on a macroscopic level, the current employment trend is much healthier in Singapore than in other major economies in the eurozone. For one, the overall unemployment rate in Singapore in Q1 2012 is significantly lower than the 2012 global unemployment rate forecasted by ILO. Secondly, Singapore’s Q1 2012 unemployment rate is still lower than global pre-recession and peak unemployment rates since 2002.
Commenting further, Mr. Satish Bakhda, General Manager and Head of Rikvin’s Operations said, “In September 2009, Singapore’s overall unemployment rate peaked at 3.3%. This is not only lower than the peak global unemployment rate recorded in 2009 (6.2%) but the global pre-crisis unemployment rate (5.4%) that has been reported by ILO. This is a testament to the resilience of the Republic’s business environment.”
Further analysis by Rikvin shows that Singapore has consistently sustained a resilient labour market due to a number of factors including 1) strong tripartite labour alliance, 2) pro-business policies, 3) competitive Singapore corporate tax and income tax rates as well as tax incentives and 4) an open-door policy to foreign investors and entrepreneurs which motivate them to form a Singapore company.
“Altogether, these factors contribute to a healthy labour market in Singapore. So although Singapore’s unemployment rate has increased slightly in the first quarter this year, we are optimistic that Singapore’s pro-active government has the right strategies in place to ensure that businesses can cope with the long-term reality of a tighter labour market. We also anticipate the unemployment rate will improve if more smaller enterprises take on the challenge of improving their productivity and developing the Singapore core workforce,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.