All over the world, job losses, cancelled contracts and pay reductions are starting to take place. And it is just the beginning. All over the world, the travel industry is first to be hit. Global tourism federations predicted that 75 million tourism sector workers could lose their jobs, with close to two-thirds of them in the Asia-Pacific.
Several airlines have gone into bankruptcy, including Virgin Australia. This magazine understands that other airlines are delaying payments to their contractors. All these have spiral effects to other industries. The fact that many other businesses are also facing the death row makes it even worse.
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the number of retrenched workers has increased since January, based on the mandatory retrenchment notifications filed up until Mar 30. This number is expected to increase.
The government has rolled out heavy machinery in a bid to protect and save jobs. This includes wage subsides of up to 75% and foreign worker levy rebates.
But even with the measures, Maybank economists Chua Hak Bin and Lee Ju Ye predicted 150,000 to 200,000 job losses in Singapore this year. For an idea of the magnitude, there were 10,690 retrenchments in 2019.
Half of the layoffs are expected to affect foreigners, as the Government’s stimulus is targeted at saving local jobs.
It should be very clear by now that no job is secure. The current crisis is not isolated to any one industry. Every single industry is being affected, not just in Singapore but around the world. The Singapore government has whipped out a large umbrella to shelter Singaporeans from impact, but some are still bound to get wet.
The only solution now is to save, brace yourself and prepare and look to the various measures, support and training programs to quickly bounce back into action when all this is over.