These 5 Industries are Facing Manpower Shortage in Singapore

These 5 Industries are Facing Manpower Shortage in Singapore
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 10 March, 2022

5 Industries That Face Manpower Shortages

After many industries nosedived in 2020 amid the black swan of COVID-19, 2021 sees Singapore making a slow economic recovery even as the pandemic evolves. The Ministry of Trade and Industry projected Singapore's GDP to grow between 6 to 7% this year - an optimistic forecast buoyed by growth in the first half of the year and the speedy progress of the national vaccination programme.

This is evident from the rise of job ads. Automotive industries, for example, saw an increase in job ads of 102.1% between Q1 to Q3 of 2020 and Q1 to Q3 of 2021, according to JobStreet's Job Report 2021. These include automotive ancillary and vehicle sectors.

Meanwhile, after experiencing a dramatic decline last year, the food and beverage industry is showing signs of recovery in 2021 from an increase in demand for delivery and business digitalisation. Job ads for the food & beverage scene as well as catering rose by 77.9% year on year.

Manufacturing and production have also seen growth this year of 41.5% between Q1 to Q3 of and Q1 to Q3 in 2021, as manufacturing output continues to be high.

How Singapore is Speeding Up its Economic Recovery

The Money Authority of Singapore says that Singapore's economic recovery will be "slower but still above-trend " in 2022. The positive economic outlook is in part thanks to the government's " living with COVID " strategy where it treats the virus as an endemic, applying some of the following tactics to accelerate its improvement.

Massive vaccination rollout

The city-state has one of the world's highest vaccination rates—in October, the country's vaccination rate was estimated at 83%. The country's aggressive approach to its vaccination programme, along with testing, opens the possibility for some semblance of normalcy.

Resuming international business travel

Singapore started the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme with Brunei and Germany in September. Recently, South Korea was added to the VTL list. Under the VTL scheme, fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore without quarantine, as long as they comply with specific requirements. Other schemes, such as the Changi travel bubble, also allow business travellers to carry on their affairs with ease.

The easing of restrictions allows countries to resume ties with one another, as it helps revive international trade and business. Several possibilities await in various industries — and a promising recovery path opens the doors for diverse opportunities in hiring and employment.

Are you looking for a career change? These in-demand industries are gearing up for a revival.

Industries Facing Hiring Demand Post-Pandemic

Food & Beverages

As the food and beverage (F&B) industry faces digitalisation, plus an increase in demand for food delivery, the sector can anticipate a fast recovery in 2021.

During the circuit breaker in Singapore, job ads for F&B declined between 23% to 53%. In the third quarter of 2021, however, the numbers have rebounded to pre-COVID job ad numbers.

Coming from widespread downsizing last year, the F&B sector is getting ready for a comeback, with several job openings available to address manpower shortages. Check out available jobs here.

Manufacturing & Production and Electrical & Electronics

Manufacturing makes up a significant part of the country's growth this year, thanks to a strong performance in the electronics sector. Manufacturing output continues to grow in Singapore this year, likely in part due to the surge in demand for digital goods and services as people had to stay connected remotely during the pandemic.

From experiencing manpower shortages, job opportunities in the manufacturing sector grew, with 60% of the job ads coming from manufacturing, engineering and services specialisations.

Job openings are available in manufacturing, from entry-level positions to managerial roles. Find the right opportunity for you here.

Construction & Building

Meanwhile, construction in Singapore continues to recover—likely as a result of the S$1.4 billion construction support package announced in June 2020. The government also announced an additional fiscal package of S$11 billion in April this year. It further brightens the prospects of the country's construction industry. The construction and building sector is forecasted to recover by 30% this year.

The industry's job demand increased in the second quarter of 2021 by 91.32% from Q2 of 2020, as the number of job ads increased. Find the right role in construction here.

Banking & Financial Services

Despite the pandemic, the finance sector in Singapore continues to be strong. Earlier this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said that 2,500 to 3,000 jobs are created in finance each year, with half in technology and consumer banking.

True enough, job ads for computer/IT or software specialists in the banking and financial services industry have increased by five times compared to last year—these ads skyrocketed by 152.1% in 2021 as banks digitalised many of their functions. A survey by the MAS and the Institute of Banking and Finance shows that there are about 6,000 newly created positions.

Despite the boom in the fintech industry, local talent in Singapore is in short supply, and the sector strives to fill the manpower shortage. Join this in-demand sector now by applying for a role in financial services today.


The Singapore e-learning market that has boomed amid the COVID-19 pandemic has likely led to the strong growth in job ads for the education sector. With home-based learning and work-from-home schemes as the new norm, people are likely working on acquiring a new skill or upskilling.

Thus, e-learning platforms need talent who can help support the boom in online learning—job supply for the education industry in the computer/IT and engineering specialisations has increased by more than 100% since last year.

Amidst the education sector, job ads for science, computer/IT, engineering and education specialisations rose by 112.5% compared to 2020. Look for the right roles in education here.

As some industries become more in-demand than others in the new normal, it may be time to update your JobStreet profile and settle in a post-pandemic career for #JobsThatMatter. For more expert advice on getting hired, visit the Career Resources page.

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