01/26/2023, 17.10
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Layoffs by high-tech and e-commerce firms reach Asia

by Steve Suwannarat

Google and Spotify plan to cut jobs in Singapore, while Meta and Twitter have already done so. There are fears that middle and top-level jobs might be axed next in the city-state, home to several major companies. Still, “Technology will continue to undergird the growth of our economies,” says minister.

Singapore (AsiaNews) – Big tech and e-commerce firms are cutting jobs with major repercussions for Singapore’s labour market. This follows years of huge unfettered growth with little concern for planning, including in human resources.

Singapore has always been at the forefront of new technologies and their use, providing a home for many high-tech initiatives.

As large IT companies lay off workers across the world – at least 60,000 in January 2023 alone by Microsoft, Amazon, and others, at least 160,000 last year – Singapore could not be spared.

Alphabet (a holding company for Google) and Spotify have announced layoffs in the city-state, while Meta and Twitter have already reduced their workforce.

Some fear that high value middle and top-level jobs could be axed next. In Singapore, tech firms laid off 1,270 resident workers in the second half of 2022, up from only 260 in the first half of the year.

Despite the gloomy picture, the government reiterated its commitment to support investment, training, and employment in this key sector of the economy, said Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo at the launch of a tech talent training programme.

Although the sector might have encountered stormy weather, something highlighted at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Minister Teo noted that, “Technology will continue to undergird the growth of our economies,” citing, in particular, the green economy and pursuit of sustainability goals.

The government itself continues “to believe that investing heavily in reskilling and upskilling Singaporeans for career opportunities in tech is not only the right thing to do, but also a significant investment to provide opportunities for Singaporeans,” Teo explained.

The more so, if demand for tech talent in non-tech industries such as financial services, hospitality, logistics and retail continues to grow.

Almost 200,000 Singaporeans have been involved in training programmes and continuing education in digital communications, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and data analysis since 2016.

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