SINGAPORE: Singapore's labour market saw higher unemployment and more retrenchments in the second quarter of 2018, although there was also employment growth and more job vacancies available, according to Ministry of Manpower (MOM) figures released on Thursday (Sep 13).
In its quarterly labour market report, the ministry reported that the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 2 per cent in March to 2.1 per cent in June 2018.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among residents rose from 2.8 per cent in March to 2.9 per cent in June, while the rate among citizens rose from 3 per cent to 3.1 per cent from March to June 2018.
As of June, there were 67,300 residents and 59,800 citizens unemployed, MOM said.
The higher unemployment comes "as more people entered the labour force to look for work on the back of continued expansion in economic activities" and remains lower than a year ago, the ministry added.
The seasonally adjusted resident long-term unemployment rate also edged up from 0.7 per cent in March to 0.8 per cent in June, staying within the range observed in the last two years.
The number of retrenchments rose to 3,030 in the second quarter compared to 2,320 in the first quarter.
This was, however, lower than the same period a year ago, when 3,640 workers were retrenched. The six-month re-entry rate for retrenched residents also improved to 64.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 61 per cent in the previous quarter.
Business restructuring and reorganisation remained the top reason for retrenchment, MOM said.
EMPLOYMENT GROWTH, MORE JOB VACANCIES
While there was a slightly higher unemployment rate, total employment in the second quarter grew by 6,500, higher than the 3,700 in the preceding quarter, MOM said.
Excluding foreign domestic workers, there were 3,429,600 workers employed in Singapore as of June 2018.
Employment in service jobs grew the most, with 7,200 more employed mainly in transportation and storage, information and communications, community, social and personal services and financial and insurance services.
This outweighed slowing declines in the manufacturing (-100) and construction (-700) industries, MOM said.
The number of seasonally adjusted job vacancies continued its uptrend since June 2017 to a three-year high of 56,700 in June 2018.
As this was more than the increase in unemployed persons, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons was slightly higher at 108 job vacancies per 100 job seekers in June 2018, up from 104 in March 2018, MOM said.