Nearly half of all vacancies in Singapore were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) as of September 2016. The job openings were mainly education, healthcare, infocomm and service-related occupations.
These are the key findings from the “Job Vacancies 2016” report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.
The steady increase in PMET share of job openings from 39% (or 24,300) in 2013 to 48% (or 25,800) in 2016 reflects restructuring of the economy and workforce. The increase in PMET vacancies was mainly from financial & insurance services, professional services and information & communications.
At the same time, there was a decline in the non-PMET vacancies, mainly in accommodation & food services, construction, wholesale & retail trade and manufacturing.
Majority of the PMET vacancies continued to come from the PMET-dominated sectors such as community, social & personal services, financial & insurance services, professional services and information & communications.
The top PMET job openings in 2016 include teaching & training professionals; management executives; software, web & multimedia developers; registered nurses and enrolled/ assistant nurses.
Among the non-PMET occupations, the highest vacancies were for service & sales workers (11,840), followed by cleaners, labourers & related workers (6,540), clerical support workers (3,160), plant & machine operators & assemblers (2,970) and craftsmen & related trade workers (1,910).
Across sectors, the non-PMET vacancies were mainly in accommodation & food services, administrative & support services and wholesale & retail trade, which typically had lower staff retention.
Vacancies unfilled for extended periods
The proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months in 2016 (36%) declined from 2015 (39%) and 2014 (41%). One in two non-PMET vacancies such as service & sales workers and craftsmen & related trade workers remained hard to fill.
In comparison, only about two in every ten PMET openings were unfilled for at least six months. Common PMET occupations which were harder to fill include software, web & multimedia developers, registered nurses and enrolled/assistant nurses.
Employers indicated low pay, long workweek and shift work as characteristics that made non-PMET openings unattractive to locals. On the other hand, the lack of necessary work experience was the top reason for PMET openings that were hard to fill.
Vacancies were available to jobseekers of all educational levels, with more at both ends of the education spectrum. About one in four of the vacancies required university degree qualifications (13,090). This was followed closely by openings which required no/some formal education i.e. primary and below (12,880). There were also openings for secondary (8,320) and diploma & professional qualifications (9,090).
The share of PMET vacancies in recent years has risen. It is expected to continue to rise as the economy restructures in tandem with the improving skills and education profile of the workforce.