According to a media interview, NTUC expects 31% more retrenchment, at 234, this coming Jan-Mar quarter this year as compared to the first quarter of 2015 at 178. NTUC assistant-general and former NMP Chiam Hui Fong said NTUC is “not too alarmed” by the 31% spike because the “phased retrenchment” was planned for in 2015.

Based on MOM figures, retrenchment in 2014 was 10,910. The 2015 retrenchment figure is expected to be worse than 2014, hitting a 6-year-high since 2009. Most of the retrenchment in 2015 were manufacturing jobs. Singapore’s biomedical manufacturing output crashed 28.6% in 2015 while other manufacturing sectors are also performing poorly with a 6.4% decline excluding biomedical manufacturing. Those in the property market and banking sector are not spared either in the recession. The number of registered property agents declined 5.1% to 29,262, while banks are cutting headcounts in Singapore, with Barclays laying off at least 100 Singapore employees.

The Singapore government is struggling to find a new direction for GDP growth after maximizing the country’s population capacity. Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin and NTUC Chief Chan Chun Sing did not comment on the spike in retrenchment figure.

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Singapore’s BioMedical Manufacturing output crashes 28.6% in a year