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Singapore unemployment rates continue to decline in November, labour market 'recovering steadily', says Tan See Leng

Singapore unemployment rates continue to decline in November, labour market 'recovering steadily', says Tan See Leng

Office workers in the financial district of Raffles Place on Sep 6, 2021. (File photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Unemployment rates in Singapore continued to decline in November 2021, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) statistics showed on Thursday (Dec 6).

According to the data, resident unemployment fell to 3.2 per cent in November 2021, from 3.4 per cent the month before.

Unemployment for citizens was at 3.5 per cent, a slight decrease from 3.6 per cent previously. Overall unemployment dipped from 2.6 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

In a Facebook post, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said that this continued decline indicates that Singapore's labour market is "recovering steadily, with the economy rebounding from the recession in 2020 and GDP growing by 7.2 per cent last year".

Sectors that were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food and beverage services and air transport, were able to ramp up capacity again as group sizes for dining out increased and more vaccinated travel lanes opened, Dr Tan said.

“We expect hiring demand in domestic sectors to pick up with gradual relaxation of community measures,” he added.

However, he cautioned that the “road to recovery is still an uneven one, paved with uncertainties”.

“With the spread of the Omicron variant throughout the world, it is likely that Singapore will see a new wave of cases in the coming weeks,” he wrote in his post. “Businesses and workers need to be adaptable and flexible as the COVID-19 situation changes.”

He added that the ministry and Workforce Singapore will support employers and employees.

Mr Tan also encouraged employers with hiring needs to “consider a wider pool of jobseekers”, as well as to invest in upskilling new hires.

“The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package provides generous support for employers to do so. I also encourage jobseekers to keep an open mind to new opportunities.

“Jobseekers who need support can approach WSG and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute for career matching services.”

The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package was introduced in May 2020 to help Singaporean workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It received an additional S$5.4 billion boost in Budget 2021 to support the hiring of 200,000 locals and provide up to 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities.

More than 146,000 people had been placed into jobs or attachment and training opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package as of the end of September 2021.

Source: CNA/ga(ac)

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