Businesses in Singapore continue to be hit hard by COVID-19

Robinson is the latest high-profile company to cease operations in Singapore at a time when unemployment is on the rise.
By: | November 2, 2020

Singapore’s retail trade sector continues to be badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as business cessations in the sector hit a 10-month high in September.

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, 457 companies decided to cease operations in Singapore, including Robinson, who announced last week that it will close its last two department stores in Singapore.

Robinson, which employs 175 staff members in Singapore, joins the likes of fashion retailer Esprit, who closed the 11 stores in Singapore this June.

The downturn in the retail trade sector comes as Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) warns that more retrenchments are expected over the third quarter of 2020 in the manufacturing and services sector, primarily in arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as air transport.

READ: Singapore residents least confident about job security in Southeast Asia

MOM expects a total of 9,1000 workers – 7,000 in services, 1,900 in manufacturing and 200 in construction – to be retrenched in the third quarter, where estimates show the overall unemployment rate creeping up by 0.2% from 3.4% in August.

The unemployment rate among Singaporeans and permanent residents went up from 4.6% in August to 4.7%, while the citizen unemployment rate increased from 4.7% in August to 4.9%. This brings the total number of unemployed residents to 112,500, of which 97, 700 are Singaporeans.