Tech sector believes recent layoffs could stem ‘frothy’ asking salaries, ‘may not be a bad thing’: Tan See Leng

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SINGAPORE — Salary expectations in the tech sector are likely to fall as a result of a wave of job cuts, which will lead to more sustainable growth in the sector, said Manpower Minister Tan Si Leng, who said this He added that it was based on feedback he received from industry insiders.

At a press conference on Thursday (December 1) on the pre-release of the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Annual Workforce Report, Dr Tan noted 1,270 cutback notices from tech companies submitted to the MOM. was doing. July to mid-November this year.

Former Dr. Tan Revealed this figure in Congress On November 28, in response to several parliamentary questions about mass tech layoffs, he also said about eight out of 10 affected workers were from non-technical backgrounds. I was.

“I have spoken with several (tech) industry insiders and insiders. I feel that we are trying to remove some of the ‘bubbles’ in terms of the high demand salaries in the industry,” he said.

“And a lot of insiders within that (tech) industry[saying]that[mass layoffs]may not necessarily be a bad thing because they think[tech companies’]growth will be bigger. I’m back. Sustainable progress.”

Economists who told TODAY said most of the recent cuts have affected people in non-technical jobs, so workers with technical skills are likely to continue to decline, while demand salaries (expectations) for such roles (salaries) are expected to decline. demand high wages.

Tech worker salaries have risen since 2001

According to MOM statistics, the median monthly gross earnings of full-time employees in the information and communications (I&C) sector (including employers’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions) increased from S$3,480 in 2001 to S$3,480 in 2001. of S$6,092, an increase of 75%. 2021 years.

By comparison, the median total monthly income of full-time employees, including CPF contributions, increased by 36.5% from S$3,000 in 2001 to S$4,095 in 2021, while the professional services sector was around 67%. It will increase from S$3,500 in 2001 to S$5,850 in 2021.

MOM classifies most technology companies in the I&C industry, but this does not include all technology companies. For example, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is not included in this category.

The department does not have a separate classification specific to technology companies or a breakdown of technology employees in technology and non-technology roles.

The sharp rise in wages for technology company employees between 2001 and 2021 is due to a tight supply of tech talent in Southeast Asia, including Singapore.

The Southeast Asian Tech Talent Compensation Report, released in March 2021 by venture capital firm Monk’s Hill Ventures and recruitment firm Glints, found that while demand is high in Asia, there is a shortage of tech talent, especially engineers and talent. Jobs are the highest paid compared to other industries. product manager.

Competition among tech companies is also contributing to the high demand for tech talent and above-market prices.

The outlook for non-tech jobs in tech is bleak

Serena Lin, chief economist at OCBC Bank, says the global tech industry is “currently indigestible” after the past few years of booming economy due to declining global growth prospects and complex geopolitical and policy conditions. Said he was facing

“Salary expectations are a function of the industry’s growth prospects, so it’s not surprising that there is some easing,” she added.

“That said, digitization is a structural megatrend that means demand will remain resilient over time, but growth is likely to be slower than in the recent past.”

Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Bank, said the desired salary for non-tech workers at tech companies could be lower than before inflation and mass tech layoffs.

“Fundamentally, salaries depend on the supply and demand of a particular skill set. is clear,” said Song.

He added that the recent mass layoffs of engineers may not necessarily mean that non-technical workers in the tech industry will not be laid off in the future.

“In fact, if the economy gets worse, there could be more layoffs.”

Associate Professor Walter Theseira, Lecturer in Economics at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, also said he expected fewer job opportunities for non-technical or engineering workers in the tech industry.

“When the technology sector was expanding, companies had the bandwidth and resources to engage in many activities beyond their core technical capabilities and products.

“Right now, they’re cutting back what they don’t contribute to revenue (non-technical roles). It may not have had much impact on experienced professionals.

“But the number of opportunities is probably not good for people who didn’t have a tech background and wanted to enter the field with parallel skills or through a conversion program or something like that.”

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