Dec 14, 2016 05:41 AM EST

Singapore Companies Lay Off 13,730 Workers Due To Redundancy in Manufacturing And Services Sectors, Industries' Activity Slowdown Also To Blame

By JC Santos

Recent statistics in Singapore's employment figures showed 13,730 workers laid off in the first three quarters of 2016 -- one the largest in Singapore's history since 2009's laid off 21,210 employees. Analysis shows that redundancy in manufacturing and services occupations including managerial, executive and technical employment, and a slowing private construction and manufacturing sector, have contributed to the massive lay-off.

According to, citing the Singapore Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) data, about 4,220 workers were redundant in 2016's third quarter. The second quarter of 2016 received the highest number of redundancies at 4,800. MOM's figures indicate that jobseekers are outnumbering job vacancies in the country. For six consecutive quarters, job vacancies have risen to 50,800 in September 2016 but the numbers are still insufficient to satiate the growing employment numbers in the country.

Despite a slowdown in private construction and manufacturing, property investment in Singapore has broken its previous 9-year record. According to Global Property Guide, Singapore's foreign property investment has increased to a total of $6.62bn last November. The news website, citing Cushman & Wakefield Research Director Christine Li's statement, indicated that global market volatility due to Brexit and rising oil prices have investors see Singapore properties "as defensive play" with protection offered by the increasing "strength of the Singdollar."

According to analysts, despite the huge influx of property investments, positions for certain construction and manufacturing posts are redundant. Construction and manufacturing companies are likely to claim employees with better performance than their peers in case of redundancy.

Unemployment rates in Singapore may continue to become worse in the food industry. Singapore's government has heavily considered replacing most mechanical jobs -- such as using vending machines in Changi Airport's Terminal 2. New technologies, including self-driving cars, face-reading electronic payment methods and other automated machine-operated tasks can further introduce redundancy in Singapore's workplace -- offering no solution to the growing unemployment rate in the country.

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