Job switching hits six-year low in Singapore

Job stability prevails in Singapore as a decline in employee mobility spans all ages and industries, signalling a shift in career priorities.
By: | February 2, 2024

Job switching has fallen to its lowest level in six years among employees in Singapore, with only 14.7% making a change in the past two years, according to a recent Ministry of Manpower (MOM) survey. This rate has not been observed since 2017, signalling a shift towards job stability amid a weaker economic environment.

The decline in job mobility was seen across all age groups and industries, as employees, even those aged 25 to 29, explored fewer career options. Notably, the share of employees with a tenure of less than one year fell from 17.9% in 2022 to 16.4% in 2023, indicating a decrease in employees moving to new roles. Employees in sectors such as information and communications, as well as administrative and support services, were among those who changed positions more frequently.

The decline in job mobility was also accompanied by a rise in long-term employment, with approximately 50% of employees having accumulated at least five years in their current roles. The survey also highlighted that employees aged over 50 were more likely to have worked in the same organisation for at least a decade. MOM attributed this increase to various factors, including training, reskilling initiatives, and policies such as the Retirement and Re-employment Act, which supports older employees seeking to stay employed.

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In response to the evolving employment landscape, Aslam Sardar, Chief Executive at the Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP), urged HR officers to prioritise driving productivity and retaining employees. He emphasised the importance of investing in employees’ learning and development for sustained growth.

MOM’s findings also revealed a decline in training hours, with 43.5% of employees participating in training in 2023, down from 49.1% in 2022. Despite economic challenges, Singapore’s job market remains competitive among developed countries, according to the MOM report. Efforts to narrow the wage gap and promote flexible work have shown positive outcomes, reported The Straits Times.