Total employment grows for the first time since pandemic hit
Rise was driven by broad hiring of residents in the service sectors, according to Manpower Ministry report
Total employment in Singapore grew for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday showed.
Resident employment outpaced the decline in non-resident employment, and total employment increased in the first quarter of this year by 12,200, excluding migrant domestic workers.
This increase was driven by the broad hiring of residents in the service sectors, such as information and communications, food and beverage, health and social services, and administrative and support services.
The report on the labour market performance for the first quarter this year also showed other indicators - including an improving unemployment situation and declining retrenchment numbers - that pointed to its continued recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday after a visit to the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Singapore Innovation Centre, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said: "These are good signs, which we are happy to see. However, our path to recovery will not be a straight road. We will be met with some twists and potential roadblocks.
"In fact, last month's tightened measures in phase two (heightened alert) is expected to lead to some kinks."
Dr Tan said he hopes businesses will continuously pursue innovation and sharpen their business and value proposition to cope with the pandemic.
The workforce must be reskilled and upskilled to keep pace with the changing needs, through the efforts of employers and the workers, he added.
Citing P&G, Dr Tan said that besides investing in research and development, the American consumer goods giant has also invested significantly in its workers.
One of them is Mr Muhammad Aidil Juhari, 29, who was a data scientist trainee for eight months before he was offered a full-time position two months ago.
Despite having a master's in biomedical engineering and work experience as a research associate, Mr Aidil was happy to take on the position under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme as it allowed him to ease into a new role.
He told The New Paper: "Shifting to industry-focused research is challenging for those without prior experience. This traineeship was a good opportunity for me to try my hand at this."
Having done well as a trainee, Mr Aidil is now an associate scientist at the P&G Singapore Innovation Centre haircare performance testing lab where he quantifies consumer interactions.
He said: "As a trainee I was impressed with all the digital capabilities of the company that are cutting-edge in the field.
"I also had good mentors to guide and train me to overcome the steep learning curve of the job. The decision to assume a full-time position was a simple one."