World Economy

Singapore Overall Jobless Rate in Q3 Falls to 2.1%

Singapore Overall Jobless Rate in Q3 Falls to 2.1%Singapore Overall Jobless Rate in Q3 Falls to 2.1%

Singapore’s overall unemployment rate declined slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis in the third quarter of the year from the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates released by the ministry of manpower on Friday.

The overall unemployment rate declined to 2.1% in September from 2.2% in June, the ministry said in its ‘Labor Market Advance’ release. Among Singaporeans, the rate declined to 3.2% in September from 3.3% in June, while it remained unchanged for residents at 3.1%, CNA reported.

Compared to a year ago, the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged while resident and citizen unemployment rates were higher. In September, an estimated 71,900 residents were unemployed, higher than 70,800 in June 2017. It declined for citizens, from 63,800 to 62,600.

Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, contracted by 2,500 in the third quarter, mainly due to a continued decrease in work permit holders in construction and manufacturing.

This was partly offset by a pickup in employment in the services sector, including in professional services, information and communications, administrative and support services, finance and insurance and accommodation.

MOM’s preliminary estimates also showed that 3,600 workers were retrenched in the third quarter, less than the 3,640 workers let go in the previous quarter and 4,220 laid off in the same period last year.

Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments at 66%, followed by manufacturing  at 19% and construction at 15%.

This is the third consecutive quarter where retrenchments have remained lower than the corresponding quarter a year ago, added MOM.

Labor demand is expected to pick up in the fourth quarter of the year, in line with seasonal hiring as seen in previous years, said MOM. Hiring remains cautious in sectors such as construction and marine, while job opportunities are available in other sectors particularly in infocomms and media, finance and insurance, healthcare, professional services and wholesale trade, it added.

“As the resident unemployment rate could remain elevated in the medium term due to on-going economic restructuring, shift in composition of resident labor force and job-skills mismatch, MOM and tripartite partners will continue to support jobseekers and at-risk workers,” the ministry added.

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