Redundancy Share for PMETs at a 13year high

Posted by on May 9, 2012 

~ By Leong Sze Hian ~

I refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Redundancy and Re-entry into Employment, 2011 report (here).

Layoffs rose for PMETs. It states that “Layoffs fell for clerical, sales & service and production & related workers but rose for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs)” PMETs accounted for 4,170 or 42% of the total workers displaced, an increase from 3,450 or 35% in 2010.

Percentage share of redundancy at a 13year high for PMETs

Actually, the percentage share of Redundancy for PMETs rose to a 4-year high, from 31.1% in 2007 to 41.7% in 2011. What is perhaps even more alarming is that it is at a 13-year high, from 18.6% in 1998 to 41.7% in 2011.

It may be interesting if the data can be further broken-down to indicate what percentage of the PMETs were Singaporeans.

Is the redundancy due to higher productivity?

Since “Restructuring of business processes for greater efficiency (34%) was the top reason for redundancy in 2011”, does it mean that raising productivity may not just raise wages, but may also contribute to redundancy?

Also, since “high labour cost (30%)” was the second highest reason, does it mean that after wages are raised due to increased productivity, it may also contribute to subsequent redundancy, due to higher labour cost?

Singapore is losing its competitiveness

As to more workers were affected (1,830) than the year before (1,470), involving overseas relocation, does it mean that we may be losing our competitiveness to the top relocating destinations of Malaysia, China and India?

PMETs are more vulnerable to redundancy

“Close to six in then (57%) residents made redundant were holding PMET jobs, slightly higher than PMET’s representation in the resident workforce (52%)”

Are degree holders most vulnerable?

By educational attainment, degree holders had the highest share, at 33.4%, of residents made redundant. So, does it mean that the more educated one is, the higher the chance of being made redundant?

Are older workers more vulnerable?

“One way of determining the vulnerability of locals to layoffs is to take the ratio of their redundancy share to employment share” – Residents age 40 – 49 had the highest Redundancy Vulnerability Ratio, at 1.28%, followed by age 50 & over at 1.09%.

So, older workers were more likely to be made redundant.

PMETs took longer to be re-employed

The Rate of Re-entry into Employment of Residents Made Redundant (Within 12 Months of Redundancy) improved for all Occupational Groups except PMETs, and also for all Educational Attainment categories except for degree, diploma & professional qualifications.

Degree holders took longer to be re-employed

The rate declined the most for degree holders from 67.1% in 2010 to 62.7% in 2011. So, the more educated one is, the harder it would seem to get re-employed and harder to get job in same industry. The percentage of residents laid off who managed to get re-employed in the same industry, declined from 55% in 1998 to 30% in 2011.

So, it appears that it may be harder to get re-employed in the same industry, with most residents (70%) having to shift industry.

“The share of those who took 3 months to re-enter employment (from 10.7% to 11.8%) or longer (from 15.0% to 15.5%) saw slight increase, while the share taking 2 months dipped (from 21.3% to 19.5%)”. So, it would appear that some people may be taking longer to find re-employment.

The Average (Mean) Time Taken By Residents to Secure a New Job within 12 Months of Redundancy, 2011, was highest for PMETs, at 2.24%.

So, the conclusion is that more educated one is, the longer it would take, to get re-employed.

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.