Singapore, 6 October 2020 – According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Q2 Labour Market Report released in September 2020, the effect of COVID-19 was more extensive in Q2 2020 than Q1 2020.
Total employment faced its sharpest decline on record (-103,500, excluding foreign domestic workers). This brought the total employment decline to 129,100 in the first half of 2020. During this period, the fall in foreign employment (-5.7 per cent or -66,400) was steeper than that for locals (-2.7 per cent or -62,700).
Retrenchment in Q2 2020 (8,130) was higher than the peak during the SARS period, but remained lower than the all-time high of the global financial crisis. In comparison to foreigners, residents were less likely to be retrenched.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was extensive across sectors, with some having stayed relatively resilient and some having been severely impacted.
- The most affected sectors are manufacturing; construction; wholesale and retail trade; accommodation and food services and arts; as well as entertainment and recreation.
- The least impacted are electronics manufacturing, as well as essential services or sectors where remote work is more likely, such as information and communications; public administration and education; health and social services; as well as financial and insurance services.
The construction industry saw a large decline of employment due to the Circuit Breaker and safe distancing measures (-13,600), coming in second after the services sectors (-22,900).
The decline in foreign employment was more widespread across sectors as the Employment Diffusion Index, which measures the breadth of employment change, reflected a lower reading for foreigners (16.8) than locals (38.4). In the construction sector, the decrease in foreign employment (-17,800) was sharper than the locals (-1,600).
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Source: Ministry of Manpower