In comparison to 2011, more workers were laid off last year, according to a “Redundancy and Re-entry into Employment 2012” report released by the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Research and Statistics Department on Thursday.

Some 11,010 workers were laid off last year, up 10 per cent from 9,990 in 2011. The report added that professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) have become more vulnerable to redundancy.

In 2012, 7.4 for every 1,000 PMETs were made redundant; up from 5.5/1000 in 2011.

PMETs, which now form more than half of the workers laid off in 2012, had a higher incidence of redundancy than production and related workers, as well as clerical, sales and service workers.

The report asserted that the figures were a possible indicator of the growing vulnerability of mid-level white-collar workers due to globalisation and technological innovations.

The top reason of redundancy in 2012 is the restructuring of business processes for greater efficiency, according to the report. Other reasons cited include poor business or business failure not due to recession, reorganisation of businesses, high operating costs, labour cost and downturn in the industry.

Apart from that, the rate of re-entry into employment declined slightly in 2012. 68 per cent of Singaporean residents made redundant in the first three quarters of 2012 re-entered employment by December 2012, compared to 70 per cent in 2011.

The report said that this partly reflects the increase in PMETs layoffs as they face competition from the growing supply of tertiary graduates. It also noted that some PMETs could also have savings and prefer to spend more time seeking jobs that match their skill sets, qualifications and salary expectations.


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