Jeremy Ho started looking for a job even before he was given the retrenchment notice in June as he had already heard about the expected job cuts at the bank where he had been working for the last six years.

But even after sending twenty applications and giving three interviews, he remained jobless.

Ho is a part of the growing group of the Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) that cannot seem to find a way out of the retrenchment rut. According to the latest labor report of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), while the retrenchments decreased from 3,230 in the first quarter of the year to 2,320 in the second quarter, the number of PMETs who had lost their jobs rose from 1,440 to 1,680.

Almost half of them were over the age of 40 and held a degree.

The senior economist of DBS, Irvin Seah said that PMETs were continuing to form a far greater share of the retrenched workers as compared to their proportion in workforce, PMETs made around 57 per cent of the resident workforce in the year 2018.

Seah has called the PMETs as the newly vulnerable, observing that the percentage share of the PMET in all the retrenched workers has been increasing over the last nine years regardless of their skills and qualifications.

He cited their much lower rate of entering the workforce once again after six months of the retrenchment - 57.8 percent in the 2nd quarter, even lower than the 59.9 percent average.