Despite a surge in jobseekers' interest, Singapore employers are scaling back on remote work: Indeed
By Digital News Asia July 5, 2023
- 6.6% of job postings in May emphasise 'Work from Home' or 'Remote Work'
- Jobseeker interest in remote work remains high, with one in every 28 searches
The attitude to remote work from employers remains at odds with the preferences of jobseekers in Singapore. The latter remain keenly interested in remote work, whereas employers are far less likely to mention 'work from home' in the job ads they post on jobs portal, Indeed.
According to Indeed, in May, 6.6% of job postings explicitly mention phrases such as 'work from home' or 'remote work' in their job descriptions. That figure has drifted upwards this year but remains well below the levels observed in late 2021.
By contrast, jobseeker interest in remote work remains elevated, with 3.5% of searches - or one in every 28 searches - using remote keywords. Outside of generic terms like 'full-time' or 'part-time', remote work and similar phrases are consistently among Singapore's most popular search terms.
"Jobseekers continue to value the flexibility offered by remote work. It'll be interesting to see whether this apparent disconnect between employers and jobseekers hampers the ability of some employers to attract suitable candidates going forward," said Callam Pickering (pic), APAC Senior Economist at Indeed.
Job postings in May
Singapore job postings on Indeed fell 1.2% in May compared with a month earlier - the seventh consecutive monthly decline - which left postings 16.5% lower than a year ago. While Singapore job postings are at their lowest level since September 2021, there were still 1.7 times as many job postings in May as before the pandemic.
Pickering added that the Singapore economy contracted in the first quarter, and the decline in job postings, he noted, is the first real sign of that impacting the jobs market. Singapore's unemployment rate is still meagre at 1.8% but will likely drift higher over the remainder of the year.
Postings declined for most occupations
Over the past three months, there have been a few small pockets of improved hiring, such as the almost 34% rise in childcare postings and the 22% increase in security & public safety roles. But overall, postings in just 16% of occupational categories were higher than three months ago.
A lot of the recent weakness has been concentrated in the healthcare sector. Postings for pharmacy roles are down 38% over the past three months, with postings for dental (-33%), veterinary (-24%) and physicians & surgeons (-22%) all falling considerably. Even nursing postings tumbled by 6.3%.
While postings have fallen significantly over the past year, job postings for every occupational category are still above pre-pandemic levels. That varies from pharmacy, where there are three times as many jobs as before the pandemic - despite the significant decline over the past three months - to mathematics, where postings are a slim 7.3% above pre-pandemic levels.
Pickering concluded that job posting volumes would continue declining as a more challenging economic environment, including a global slowdown, will likely lead to a further decline in job postings over the remainder of the year.
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