Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has just released its Job Vacancies 2016 annual report, which analyses the job vacancy situation as at 30 September 2016, highlighting occupations in demand, top hiring industries, the typical qualifications and working experience required.
A total of 15,100 establishments employing 2,031,200 employees responded to the survey, where some of the key findings include:
- PMET positions made up about half of the openings
- Majority of the PMET vacancies continued to come from the PMET-dominated sectors such as community, social and personal services, financial and insurance services, professional services and information and communications.
- Vacancies were available to jobseekers for all educational levels, with more at both ends of the education spectrum.
- The proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months (36%) declined from a year ago (39%).
- Non-PMET vacancies were generally harder to fill, with top reasons being low pay, long workweek and shiftwork.
PMET positions made up about half of the openings
The report showed a steady increase in PMET share of job openings from 39% in 2013 to 48% in 2016 to reflect restructuring of the economy and workforce. In fact, about half (or 25,800) of total vacancies in 2016 were for PMETs.
The increase in PMET vacancies was observed mainly in financial and insurance services, professional services and information and communications. On that note, the top PMET job openings in 2016 include teaching and training professionals (2,100), management executives (1,210), software, web and multimedia developers (1,150), registered and enrolled/assistant nurses (1,060).
These were also generally the top openings in recent years. In particular, vacancies for teaching and training professionals and software, web and multimedia developers have risen in the past two years (+790 or 15% p.a.).
On the other hand, the highest vacancies among non-PMET occupations were for service and sales workers (11,840); such as shop sales assistants (2,720), security guards (2,280) and waiters (1,290). The report also stated a decline was observed in accommodation and food services, construction, wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing.
More job opportunities at both ends of the education spectrum
According to the report, vacancies were available to jobseekers of all educational levels with more at both ends of the education spectrum.
In fact, about only one in four of the vacancies required university degree qualifications (13,090 or 26%). This was followed closely by openings which required no/some formal education (i.e. primary and below) at 12,880 or 26%. Additionally, secondary qualifications saw 8,320 (17%) openings while there were 9,090 (18%) openings that seek diploma and professional qualifications.
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Non-PMET vacancies were generally harder to fill
52% of non-PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months - in particular among service and sales workers - hinting that non-PMET positions are harder to fill.
On the other hand, only about two in every ten PMET openings (19%) were unfilled for at least six months, where common occupations left unfilled for at least six months include software, web and multimedia developers, registered nurses and enrolled/assistant nurses.
For non-PMET vacancies, employers were more likely to indicate job-specific conditions pertaining to unattractive pay, long workweek (preference for shorter workweek) and shift work as the common reasons for hard-to-fill vacancies. As for PMET vacancies, it was due to lack of qualified candidates.
Occupations in demand
Based on the report, here are the occupations in demand for PMET openings:
- Teaching and training professionals (2,100)
- Management executives (1,210)
- Software, web and multimedia developers (1,150)
- Commercial and marketing sales executives (940)
As for clerical, sales and service workers, the top occupations in demand are:
- Shop sales assistants (2,720)
- Security guards (2,280)
- Receptionists, customer service and information clerks (1,400)