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Hiring Trends in the Healthcare Industry Amid Recession Concerns

by Mehul Shah

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Amid the escalating trade war between the US and China, Singapore is expected to be one of the most affected economies in South East Asia. As Singapore experiences its poorest growth rate in a decade and the economic outlook worsens, there are increasing fears around job security.

The concern amongst employees stems from the risk of retrenchment, driven by companies starting to slow down their hiring plans. This is confirmed by MOM’s Labour Market Advance Release, which cited that while retrenchments have not picked up and remained low, employers are exercising greater caution in hiring, even when they have unfilled vacancies. This has resulted in unemployment rates continuing to slowly rise.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Healthcare industry; Whether it’s a Pharmaceutical, Biomed, HealthTech or other industry-related company, it’s often seen as an industry that is more resistant to recession compared to other sectors. The recent decline in growth in Singapore’s economy was offset by the pharmaceutical sector, which posted strong growth of 28.5% against market trends.

Such activities are driving optimism within the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical sectors, with hiring managers continuing to build their teams with further confidence in the Singapore market as a key area of growth.

As Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing reiterated last month, the government’s commitment to making Singapore a global biomedical hub has led to continued investment by global healthcare companies into Singapore.

As an example, GlaxoSmithKline opened a new $130 million manufacturing facility in Jurong last month. as part of their efforts to build long term partnerships between Healthcare companies and the government, while simultaneously engaging and training workers to further drive Singapore’s ambition to be a global biomedical hub. This is driving further hiring needs within the industry across functions, with the EDB citing that the biomedical manufacturing sector is preparing for increased hiring over the next three months.

In summary, the healthcare space is an increasingly attractive sector for job seekers to target while the rest of the economy is dealing with slowing growth, concerns over a potentially imminent recession, increasing retrenchments and fewer job opportunities. Furthermore, the space is going through significant and exciting changes due to positive disruption of technology and innovation. Therefore, for active job seekers, the Healthcare domain is becoming an attractive proposition, both from a job security standpoint, and an increasingly exciting field.  


Mehul Shah

Senior Consultant – Accounting & Finance