20:37 | 15/09/2019

Unemployment rate in Singapore inches up 3.3 percent in Q2

The jobless rate among Singaporean citizens stood at 3.3 percent in June 2019, as compared to 3.2 percent in March, according to the Ministry of Manpower.


The jobless rate among Singaporean citizens stood at 3.3 percent in June 2019. (Photo: straitstimes.com)

The number of job vacancies declined for the second consecutive quarter to 47,700 in June, down from 57,100 in March, after calculating seasonal variations.

This resulted in the ratio of job vacancies to unemployed people dipping below one for the first time in more than a year. There was 0.94 percent opening per unemployed person in June.

Retrenchments rose to 5,550 in the first half, up from 5,370 in the second half of last year, and 5,350 in the preceding six months. Professionals, managers, executives and technicians made up the majority of locals retrenched, at 77 percent. Firms said the uptick in the number of retrenchments was due to their business shake-up.

The ministry noted that in the recent three quarters, more employees have been placed on short work-week or temporary layoff arrangements, which are typically viewed as better alternatives to retrenchments.

Growth in the number of people working in the country, excluding maids, slowed in the first half to 16,900, down from 31,400 in the second half of last year, which had been boosted by the festive season. But local firms hired more foreign workers to fill gaps, especially in construction.

Foreign employment growth, excluding maids, overtook local employment growth for the first time in three years. It was 11,600 in the first half of this year, up from 10,500 in the second half of last year. The ministry attributed this mainly to growth in the service and construction sectors.

The construction sector continued to recover, adding 2,800 workers during January-June. Construction output is likely to see a turnaround this year after three consecutive years of contraction.

In the service sector, which added 19,000 workers in the period, employment growth is expected in both outward-oriented and domestic-oriented segments, supported by demand for enterprise information technology solutions and payment processing services, as well as the ramp-up of operations in healthcare facilities./.

VNA

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