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