Oct 31, 2012

Singapore - Singapore's Q3 jobless rate remains low, but employment growth slows

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SINGAPORE: Singapore's unemployment rate in the third quarter stood at 1.9 per cent, down from 2.0 per cent in the previous quarter, said the Ministry of Manpower.

The Q3 jobless rate was also lower than the 2.1 per cent in the third quarter of last year, according to preliminary findings from the "Employment Situation, Third Quarter 2012" report released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Manpower.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for residents and Singapore citizens were 2.8 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively in the July-September quarter, unchanged from the second quarter, the report said.

It added that unemployment remained low, reflecting strong manpower demand amid tightening controls on foreign manpower.

However, employment creation moderated in the third quarter after rising in the previous quarter.

Preliminary estimates showed that total employment grew by 24,900, down from the increase of 31,900 in the same period last year, and 31,700 in the second quarter of 2012.

The growth in employment slowed in services (from 21,200 in the third quarter of 2011 to 11,300 in the third quarter of 2012) and manufacturing (from 3,900 to 3,700).

Boosted by public infrastructure projects, construction continued to register strong employment increase of 9,800 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 6,700 in the same quarter in 2011.

Layoffs increased after declining in the preceding two quarters. An estimated 3,300 workers were made redundant in the third quarter of 2012, mainly driven by higher layoffs in electronics manufacturing and retail.

This was one of the few higher quarterly redundancy figures reported in post-recessionary periods. About 2,210 workers were made redundant in the second quarter of this year and 2,600 in the first quarter.

However, the third quarter figure was substantially lower than the highs of 6,000 to 12,800 per quarter registered during the last recession.

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