SINGAPORE: Singapore's unemployment situation continued to improve in May in what authorities said was a good sign, although the road to recovery was expected to be long.
The overall unemployment rate edged down to 2.8 per cent in May from 2.9 per cent the previous month, according to the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) latest monthly unemployment situation report.
The jobless rate for citizens fell to 4 per cent in May from 4.1 per cent in April, while the rate for residents dipped to 3.8 per cent from 3.9 per cent.
In May, 88,600 residents were unemployed, including 79,000 citizens. Residents refer to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
Singapore's unemployment rate last peaked in September 2020 and has remained flat or declined from month to month since.
Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said on Thursday (Jul 1) that the downward trend in the unemployment rates is "a good sign that our labour market is steadily improving".
"However, we remain cautiously optimistic about the situation as we continue to see resurgence of the virus globally and have also yet to see the full impact of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions, which began in mid-May," said Dr Tan on Facebook.
"The road to recovery may be a long one. As we restructure and rejuvenate our economy so that we can create good jobs, I urge businesses to tap on available support such as the Jobs Growth Incentive to expand local hiring, as well as existing schemes to innovate and transform their work processes."
He also encouraged jobseekers who need help with their job search to approach Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), including through the 24 SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centres across Singapore.
MOM has been releasing monthly unemployment figures since July 2020. Previously, the rates were published quarterly.