Singapore: Unemployment rate and retrenchments ease in Q2

According to Singapore Labour Market Advance Release, the seasonally-adjusted (SA) unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.2 percent in June.

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The joblessness amongst Singapore residents and citizens has eased in the past quarter if the latest figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) are anything to go by.

According to the Labour Market Advance Release for the second quarter of the year, the seasonally-adjusted (SA) unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.2 percent in June.

However, jobless rate amongst residents went down from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent and the rate amongst citizens went the same route, down to 3.3 percent.

In June 2017, an estimated 69,800 residents, including 62,800 Singapore citizens were unemployed, lower than 74,400 and 67,100 in March 2017.

Layoffs also declined in the said quarter. Based on the labour ministry's estimates, there are only 3,500 workers who were retrenched in Q2, fewer than the 4,000 employees in the first quarter and the 4,800 in 2Q16.

The decrease in retrenchments over the quarter was broad-based across industries. However, the services sector remained the biggest contributor, forming 64% of overall retrenchments in the period. Manufacturing and construction made up 22% and 13% of the layoffs in the quarter, respectively.

On the other side of the coin, the decrease in Work Permit Holders in Construction and Marine sector has led to the contraction in total employment by 8,400. However, this is lower than the decline in the first quarter at 9,400.

According to MOM, the labour market outlook continues to be bumpy across sectors, with cautious hiring sentiments in sectors such as Construction and Marine.

"But opportunities will continue to be available in Finance & Insurance, Infocomms & Media, Healthcare, Professional Services and Wholesale Trade, which are the five sectors recently identified by the MOM where the potential for job creation is promising," the labour ministry said in a statement.

Additionally, MOM urged workers to re-skill and embrace life-long learning to remain employable. It noted that its priority remains to support displaced and at-risk workers, as well as job seekers through "Adapt and Grow" programmes.

"At the same time, companies are urged to tap on the Lean Enterprise Development Scheme to transform to improve the quality of jobs created," MOM noted.