Middle-Aged Executives Hardest Hit By Layoffs; Seen As Too Costly To Retain, Too Old To Hire

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) in Singapore released recent and hard-hitting findings that those hardest hit be recession related layoffs are middle-aged executives.  Seen by the company as too expensive to retain, they are disproportionally less likely to find another job.

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A De-valuing Of Experience

How does this happen?  Executives require a significant amount of schooling and specialization to be effective in their position.  Seen as a middle-class and above position, specialization allows for improved pay and fees for service.  However, this specialization also works against the best interest of the workers.  There are fewer spots available for business executives and the challenges of becoming hired, especially with some between employments, can seem insurmountable.

Another issue faced by business executives looking for work is a talented pool of younger business executives currently in the Singapore marketplace.  As the Manpower Ministry points out, older business executives are seen as too costly to retain while younger business executives can make less and be more flexible.  In addition, there is the issue of age discrimination as well.  Companies are always looking for young and fresh talent, oftentimes dismissing perfectly valid candidates on age alone.  In the end, the business suffers and the out of work executive is still looking for work.

Additional Challenges Play A Role

Along with challenges in finding employment, another concern of middle-aged executives is wage stagnation.  With layoffs and a general world recession, wage growth has happened at much smaller speeds than it would during a boom economy.  In addition, older middle-aged executives report having far more obligations to balance as well.  There is care for family and loved ones, there is caring for children, and there is ensuring that all other aspects of everyday life go as planned.  For anyone attempting to do all of these things at once, it is no wonder that the middle-aged executive class in Singapore has been struggling.

MOM reports an increase in the loss of jobs more recently, making this problem even worse with time.  The 2009 crisis saw 23,430 workers laid off in this category while last year had 15,580 alone.  With higher numbers projected, the issues of layoffs will soon begin affecting more than just middle-aged executives.  Individuals in the 20-30 crowd will also begin experience the pains of a trim economy with layoffs reaching them as well.  Nearly two-thirds of the individuals laid off last year were over 40 years of age.  The majority of the layoffs occurred in the service sector.  It is expected that downturns in the global economy are a reason for this as well as downturns in manufacturing, gas, and oil sectors.  At this time in the market, no executive is truly safe.

Where Does That Leave Us?

For now, middle-aged executives are left fighting to hold on to their jobs.  With more people entering the marketplace and employers trimming staff, the only hope comes in a market turnaround some time in the future to increase demand on things like the service sector.  For now, many wait and hope for a change.

About the author

Nick James writes for Company Stamp Singapore Pte Ltd, where he wrote most of the blog content. He wrote the article “Eco Friendly Rubber Stamps” and “How to make your Company Stamps look impressive”.

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