Retrenchments rose in the first quarter of the year, driven by manufacturing losses and hitting mainly production and related workers from electronics, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday.

The number of retrenched employees stood at 3,230, up from 2,510 in the previous quarter and also higher than a year ago, the MOM said in its labour market report.

Retrenchments in electronics made up 18 per cent of the number, followed by services industries such as wholesale trade, as well as transportation and storage.

“While restructuring and reorganisation remained the main reason cited by establishments for retrenchments, there was a rise in the share of retrenchments from the previous quarter due to high costs and the downturn in the industry,” said the MOM.

It added that among retrenched residents, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) continued to make up the majority at 69 per cent. This is because they form a higher share of the workforce and were more prone to retrenchments, the MOM added. – BUSINESS TIMES SG