A quarter of Singaporean employees are experiencing job insecurity

Kim HoPR Manager
September 17, 2020, 3:37 AM GMT+0

Seven in ten believe it will be hard to find another job in the face of unemployment

The pandemic has resulted in the world slipping into a global recession and mass unemployment – and Singapore is no exception. Singaporean unemployment rates are the highest it has been in more than a decade. YouGov surveys full-time workers in the nation, to find out how they are coping with job insecurity, and their attitudes towards unemployment.

Job insecurity refers to the fear of losing one’s job. A quarter (26%) of Singaporean employees feel insecure in their jobs, up 6 per cent compared to a pre-COVID era. Almost one in ten (8%) feel ‘very insecure’ and about two in ten (18%) feel ‘somewhat insecure’. Three in ten (30%) feel neither secure nor insecure, and over two in five (44%) feel secure in their jobs. One in ten feel ‘very secure’ (11%), and a third (32%) feel ‘somewhat secure’. High-income earners (household income of SGD 8,000 a month or more) are the most likely to feel ‘very secure’ in their jobs, whereas mid-income earners (household income of SGD 4,000 to 7,999 a month) are the least likely to feel the same (17% vs. 7%).

The majority (94%) of employed Singaporeans are experiencing some level of stress over losing their jobs – only a small percentage (6%) feel ‘not at all stressed’. One in five (19%) feel a little stressed, half (49%) feel somewhat stressed and a quarter (26%) feel very stressed. Unsurprisingly, those who are feeling ‘very insecure’ in their jobs are the most likely to feel very stressed – with three quarters (74%) saying so, as opposed to those who feel ‘very secure’ (17%).

In the event of losing their jobs tomorrow, seven in ten (69%) believe it will be difficult to find another one of similar pay and benefits – a third (35%) think it’ll be ‘somewhat difficult’ and the other third (33%) think it will be ‘very difficult’. Two in ten (18%) are indifferent, and the remaining one in ten (10%) would find it easy. High-income earners are twice as likely to say it would be easy to find a similar job, compared to low and mid-income earners (15% vs. 7%). Two in five (41%) believe they’ll be able to find a new job within six months should they find themselves unemployed tomorrow – one in five (20%) think this will be within three months, and the other one in five (21%) think this will be within three to six months. A quarter (26%) believe this will be within six months to a year, and another one in five (21%) think this will take more than a year. The remaining 13% are unsure.

In the same circumstance of losing their jobs, half (48%) of Singaporean employees say they would be willing to take a pay cut of up to 20% to find another with a similar position. Almost a quarter (24%) would be willing to take a pay cut between 21% and 40%, and almost one in ten (9%) are willing to take a pay cut of more than 40%. The remaining 18% are unwilling to take a pay cut at all. Low-income earners (household income of less than SGD 4,000 a month) are twice as unwilling to take a pay-cut than high-income earners (25% vs. 12%). Men are also less willing to take a pay cut than women (16% vs. 21%).

***Results based on 719 Singaporeans employed in full-time jobs surveyed on YouGov Omnibus