The job market is expected to slow down in the year ahead, say human-resource experts, but workers will not be left high and dry.
This follows slight growth in Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of last year, according to advance estimates released yesterday by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Reuters reported that Singapore's GDP expanded by an annualised 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, after seasonal adjustments, reversing a larger-than-earlier-reported 6.3 per cent contraction in the July to September period.
Singapore grew by 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter from the year before, bringing growth for last year to 1.2 per cent, down from 4.9 per cent in 2011.
The Government in November predicted full-year economic growth of around 1.5 per cent.
Singapore's manufacturing sector shrank 10.8 per cent sequentially in the fourth quarter, on an annualised and seasonally-adjusted basis, worsening from the 9.9 per cent contraction in the third quarter, while services grew 7 per cent in the fourth quarter from the third quarter.
The sector contracted by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter, Reuters said. In his New Year message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore's economy is expected to grow by 1 to 3 per cent this year.
"Slower growth does not mean we will face less pressure. Companies, especially, must put more effort into raising productivity," he noted.
Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at humanresource firm The GMP Group, told My Paper that employers will take a "more cautious and calculated approach" when hiring.
While he does not foresee widespread redundancy, "small pockets of retrenchments are expected".