Job vacancies up 9% in 2014, service industry workers in greatest demand

Looking at professions, the biggest shortfall was for service and sales workers, including shop sales assistants, security guards and waiters. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Looking at professions, the biggest shortfall was for service and sales workers, including shop sales assistants, security guards and waiters. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The number of job vacancies here rose again to 67,400 as of September last year, according to a Manpower Ministry (MOM) report released on Tuesday.

This was up 8.9 per cent from the year before, as the tight labour market continued.

Four in five vacancies were in the services industry, especially community, social and personal services. This reflected "the expansion of childcare and pre-schools, healthcare and tertiary institutes," said MOM in its report.

New shopping malls also boosted hiring in wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support services.

Looking at professions, the biggest shortfall was for service and sales workers, who accounted for a quarter of the total vacancies.

These include shop sales assistants, security guards and waiters. Associate professionals and technicians were also in keen demand, accounting for around one in five vacancies.

The share of vacancies that went unfilled for six months or longer remained at around four in 10.

Unattractive pay continued to be the major factor behind firms' difficulties in hiring Singaporeans or permanent residents for jobs. It was hard to find Singaporeans and PRs to fill 67 per cent of vacancies.

Not being able to get a shorter work week overtook a physically strenuous job nature as the next biggest hindrance.

joseow@sph.com.sg