COVID-19 has plunged the world into a global recession, resulting in mass unemployment – and Singapore is no exception.

With Singaporean unemployment rates at the highest it has been in more than a decade, even surpassing what was recorded in the SARS period, it's no surprise that these days, what keeps Singaporeans up at night is job insecurity - which refers to the fear of losing one's job. 

According to a recent YouGov survey, an overwhelming majority of employed Singaporeans are also feeling stressed over losing their jobs and, in the unfortunate event that they do get laid off, about half believe it will be difficult to find another one of similar pay and benefits.

The survey, which polled 719 Singaporeans employed in full-time jobs, revealed how full-time Singaporeans are coping with job insecurity, and their attitudes towards unemployment, and re-employment.

26% of Singaporean staff feel insecure in their jobs - up 6% compared to a pre-COVID era

  • 8% felt very insecure 
  • 18% felt somewhat insecure
  • 30% felt neither secure nor insecure
  • 32% felt somewhat secure
  • 44% felt secure
  • 11% felt very secure

It was found that high-income earners (with a monthly household income of S$8,000 or more) were the most likely to feel ‘very secure’ in their jobs (17%). 

On the flip side, mid-income earners (with a monthly household income of between S$4,000 to S$7,999) were the least likely to feel the same (7%).

sg job insecurity

94% of employed Singaporeans are experiencing some level of stress over losing their jobs

  • 26% felt very stressed
  • 49% felt somewhat stressed
  • 19% felt a little stressed
  • 6% felt 'not at all stressed'

Unsurprisingly, those who are feeling ‘very insecure’ in their jobs were also the most likely to feel very stressed – with 74% saying so, as opposed to those who felt ‘very secure’ (17%).

69% felt it would be difficult to find re-employment with similar pay and benefits

  • 33% thought it would be very difficult
  • 35% thought it would be somewhat difficult
  • 18% are indifferent
  • 10% thought it would be easy

Interestingly, high-income earners were twice as likely to say it would be easy to find a similar job, compared to low and mid-income earners (15% vs. 7%).

Within six months is how long most Singaporeans believe it would take for them to find a new job

  • 20% thought it would take three months
  • 21% thought it would take three to six months
  • 41% believed they can find a new job within six months
  • 26% believed it will take within six months to a year
  • 21% felt it would take more than a year
  • 13% were unsure

About half of Singaporeans willing to take a 20% pay cut to find another similar position

  • 9% were willing to take a pay cut of more than 40%
  • 24% would be willing to take a pay cut between 21% and 40%
  • 48% would be willing to take a pay cut of up to 20% 
  • 18% were unwilling to take a pay cut at all

Perhaps unsurprisingly, low-income earners (with a monthly household income of less than SGD 4,000) were twice as unwilling to take a pay-cut than high-income earners (25% vs. 12%).

By gender, men were also found to be less willing to take a pay cut than women (16% vs. 21%).

Human Resources Online is on Telegram! Follow us @humanresourcesonline or click here for all the latest weekly HR and manpower news from around the region. 

Photo / 123RF