13 jobs in Singapore that have seen their earnings take a hit in 2016

13 jobs in Singapore that have seen their earnings take a hit in 2016

This article was originally on GET.com at: 13 Jobs In Singapore Whose Earnings Have Taken A Hit

Recently, in Singapore there have been various job sectors that have taken a hit in earnings. Nobody likes it when we have to make do with unceremonious pay cuts if we aren't already rendered redundant. Everybody needs money to survive and it sure doesn't help when Singapore is the most expensive city to live in. According to a news report, a 'price war' may soon emerge as cab firms start cutting fares to match the recently reduced prices offered by Uber and Grab.

Competition is good in general, but does undercutting each other amidst the lacklustre economic outlook present the best solution for cabbies and private-hire car drivers? Well, cabbies aren't the only ones in Singapore who have to deal with making less money given the recent price cuts by Uber and Grab.

Weak trade numbers, rapidly dwindling exports, the shrivelling manufacturing sector and a stagnant property market are just some of the obstacles people in Singapore have to deal with right now.

Also, it isn't hard to figure out that retail landlords are increasingly feeling the pinch as malls become more and more empty of tenants. Just so you know, shopping mall vacancies in town area have climbed to a depressing 8.7 per cent in Q1 2016, the highest they've ever been in a 5-year period.

Here at GET.com, we list down 13 jobs in Singapore with earnings that have taken a hit so far. We can only hope that the economy recovers soon.

1. Property agents

ERA, the biggest agency in Singapore, saw its agent number dropped by 6.6 per cent to 5,947 agents in the October-to-December licence renewal period in 2015. Fewer people in general are signing up to be property agents, compared to a few years ago.

While the top agents are still able to earn a good commission, most are languishing in the current market environment.

2. Architects

The real estate downturn has dampened construction projects, such that many small architectural firms are hurting. Architects in small firms have been retrenched.

3. Engineers who work in construction

Engineers have one of the highest starting pay in Singapore. On 13 April 2016, the government announced that engineers joining the Public Service upon graduation will have a starting pay from S$3,800 a month, while those in information and communications technology (ICT) will enjoy a starting pay from S$4,000 - an almost 20 per cent pay increase.

However, things are not so rosy for engineers working in the construction sector as demand for property construction projects drops.

According to the Ministry of Manpower's labour report for 2015, the number of redundancies in the architecture and engineering services segment rose to 940 in 2015, up from 240 in 2013 and 350 in 2014.

4. Mortgage specialists

Fewer people buying homes translate to fewer people needing to take out home loans. Mortgage specialists working in banks are somewhat desperate for business in this bleak environment.

They also face competition from home loan comparison sites like GET.com which let people compare all the home loan packages in Singapore at one glance, instead of going from bank to bank to ask for rates.

5. People working in marine or shipping industry

Soft demand in the shipping industry has led to a drop in profit and revenue for port operator PSA International last year. Weakening trade and demand, excess tonnage capacity and low freight rates have also hit the container shipping industry.

6. Lawyers specialising in property conveyancing

As less properties get transacted, lawyers who mainly deal with conveyancing work will see a decrease in their earnings.

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7. People who depend on rental income for a living

Rental prices of retail, office and private residential properties have dipped due to lacklustre demand from companies and expats. In fact, we reported that rental prices of suburban condos have fallen to levels seen in HDB executive flats. This is bad news for those who depend on rental income for a living.

8. Remisiers or stock brokers

According to Society of Remisiers Singapore president Jimmy Ho, remisiers are no longer earning thousands of dollars in commissions each month; that more are earning a cleaner's pay these days. In 2015, there was an 'alarming' increase in remisiers resigning due to the slump in the stock market as many couldn't reach their annual sales quota.

9. Taxi drivers

Taxi rentals are creeping up, and now with more competition from rivals like Uber and Grab, taxi companies may feel more pressure to cut fares in order to compete for the same pool of customers. And while lower fares are a boon to the commuting public, they mean less takings for the cabbies themselves as they still need to pay the same rental for the cab.

10. Private-hire car drivers

So far, Uber and Grab haven't announced how lowering the fares could impact the takings of these private-hire car drivers, but it won't be a long shot to say that they wouldn't be earning more in light of lower fares for passengers.

11. Low wage workers like cleaners and security officers

Companies are increasingly outsourcing cleaning and security services to third-party providers, and such providers tend to win the bids for these projects by quoting low prices, which means lower salaries for such workers.

Since 2012, the National Wages Council has recommended four rounds of pay hikes of at least $50-$60 for workers earning up to $1,000. However, in 2014, only six in 10 private sector employers gave these low-wage workers a pay hike of at least $60.

12. Factory workers

Last year, more people lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector, with older workers and PMETs hit the hardest.

13. Retail sales assistants and executives

With more and more brands leaving Singapore, those who work in retail services may see some dips in income.

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