Photo of Josephine Teo from Straits Times Wong Kwai Chow

In a state media interview on Friday (Many 29), Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told Singaporeans that the unemployment rate is going to get a lot worse after the circuit breaker ended from June 2:

“The labour market in Singapore has yet to hit bottom, with the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic likely to be felt only in the second quarter of this year… There will likely be an increase in the number after the circuit breaker period too… Singapore’s job market has yet to feel the full brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak…We are only now at half of what the worst period of the global financial crisis was.”

The PAP minister had earlier released an employment report revealing that there were only 70 job vacancies for every 100 jobseekers in March:

“There has been anecdotal evidence of companies rescinding job offers and scaling back on hiring plans, which indicates that in the months ahead, jobs will be even fewer and harder to come by.”

When asked how much worse the job market could get, Minister Josephine Teo referred to the 2009 financial crisis, where there were only 37 job vacancies to 100 jobseekers.

The Singapore government claimed that the circuit breaker will end on June 2, but similar measures will stay with only a few exceptions. The ruling party dictatorship refused to use the word “extension”, as it had earlier extended an earlier deadline on May 7th to June 1st.