SINGAPORE - Job vacancies reached a high of 56,400 last September, according to a report released on Monday by the Manpower Ministry.
Highlights from MOM's Job Vacancies, 2012 report are as follows:
Amid the tight labour market, job vacancies rose by 4.4 per cent over the year to 56,400 in September 2012.
Service & sales workers (12,430 or 24 per cent of total vacancies) were the most sought after, reflecting strong demand for shop sales assistants, waiters, security guards, food service counter attendants and cashiers & ticket clerks. This was followed by associate professionals & technicians (8,960 or 17 per cent) and professionals (8,040 or 15 per cent).
There were vacancies available for all educational levels. One in four vacancies in 2012 needed basic educational qualifications of up to primary level (12,880 or 25 per cent). There were also many openings requiring university degree (10,140 or 19 per cent), diploma & professional qualifications (9,980 or 19 per cent) and secondary (9,990 or 19 per cent) qualifications.
Services continued to account for the majority (78 per cent or 41,110) of job openings in 2012, mainly in community, social & personal services (12,210 or 23 per cent).
There were also many vacancies in accommodation & food services (6,490 or 12 per cent), wholesale & retail trade (6,160 or 12 per cent) and administrative & support services (4,420 or 8.4 per cent). Manufacturing and construction contributed another 6,350 (or 12 per cent) and 3,940 (or 7.5 per cent) of openings in 2012.
Almost two in three vacancies (64 per cent) in 2012 required some form of work experience. Job-specific (24 per cent) and general (22 per cent) experience were more common than industry-specific (18 per cent) experience.
Positions for managers & administrators, professionals, associate professionals & technicians and craftsmen & related trades workers commonly required job- or industry-specific working experience. In contrast, openings for cleaners, labourers & related workers and, to a lesser extent, service & sales workers typically do not require any working experience
Reflecting the tight labour market and moderation in inflow of foreign workers, vacancies unfilled for six months or more rose to 20,930, representing 40 per cent of total vacancies in 2012, up from 18,230 or 35 per cent a year ago.
The bulk (17,270 or 83 per cent) of the openings unfilled for extended periods were for non-PMETs, led by service & sales workers (6,660 or 32 per cent of vacancies unfilled for at least six months) and cleaners, labourers & related workers (4,650 or 22 per cent).
With the labour market near full employment, employers reported difficulties in hiring locals for two in three (66 per cent) or 34,760 of the vacancies in 2012.
Reflecting the predominance of lower-end occupations among the hard-to-fill vacancies, unattractive pay (affecting 49 per cent of hard-to-fill vacancies), physically strenuous job (42 per cent), non-conducive working environment (34 per cent) and shift work (30 per cent) were the common reasons employers cited for their difficulty in recruiting locals.