Em­ploy­ment in first half of 2017 rises for first time in 3 years

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

FOR the first time in three years, the num­ber of Sin­ga­pore­ans and per­ma­nent res­i­dents in em­ploy­ment rose in the first half of this year, com­pared with con­trac­tions in the first six months of last year and 2015.

The growth in lo­cal em­ploy­ment was mainly in the com­mu­nity, so­cial and per­sonal ser­vices, fi­nan­cial and in­sur­ance ser­vices, and in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­dus­tries, the Man­power Min­istry (MOM) said on Thurs­day (Sept 14), as it re­leased its labour­mar­ket re­port for the sec­ond quar­ter of this year, which showed fewer lay­offs and a dip in res­i­dent un­em­ploy­ment.

Lo­cal em­ploy­ment ex­panded by 4,000 in the first six months of this year, com­pared with de­clines in the first half of last year (-200) and 2015 (-8,900).

Be­tween April and June this year, the MOM said the num­ber of work­ers laid off con­tin­ued to de­cline, with 3,640 work­ers re­trenched — the low­est in seven quar­ters since the third quar­ter of 2015, when 3,460 re­trench­ments were on record. It was also a dip from the first quar­ter of this year (4,000).

Sea­son­ally ad­justed, the un­em­ploy­ment rate for cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents slid from 3.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent be­tween March and June. The cit­i­zen un­em­ploy­ment rate also fell from 3.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent over the same pe­riod.

The over­all un­em­ploy­ment rate stayed un­changed at 2.2 per cent. The MOM said, how­ever, that the rates are still higher than those recorded a year ago, af­ter head­ing north in the pre­vi­ous quar­ters.

As for those un­em­ployed for 25 weeks or longer, the sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate also slipped from 0.8 per cent to 0.7 per cent be­tween March and June.

The to­tal num­ber of work­ers in em­ploy­ment shrank by 7,300 in the sec­ond quar­ter of this year. The de­cline, ex­clud­ing for­eign do­mes­tic work­ers, was 7,900. This is the sec­ond straight quar­ter of con­trac­tions in to­tal em­ploy­ment, ow­ing to “sus­tained de­clines in work per­mit hold­ers in con­struc­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing”, the MOM said.

Mean­while, the sea­son­ally ad­justed num­ber of job open­ings rose from 46,800 to 49,000 be­tween March and June. Thanks to ris­ing va­can­cies and a smaller pool of job­seek­ers, the job­va­cancy-to-job­seeker ra­tio also reached its high­est since Septem­ber 2016, with 85 open­ings for ev­ery 100 job­seek­ers in June. – TO­DAY On­line

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