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Overall unemployment rate in Singapore inches up to 2.3% in Q3: MOM

Overall unemployment rate in Singapore inches up to 2.3% in Q3: MOM

Office workers at Raffles Place in Singapore. (File photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: The overall unemployment rate in Singapore rose slightly in the third quarter of 2019, according to preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its Labour Market Report on Thursday (Oct 24).

The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate rose slightly in September from 2.2 per cent to 2.3 per cent, as well as among residents from 3.1 per cent in the previous quarter to 3.2 per cent in the July to September quarter. 

"The increase in unemployment rates occurred when there were still vacancies available. This suggests some mismatch in the labour market," said MOM.

The jobless rate for citizens rose from 3.2 per cent in the second quarter to 3.3 per cent in the three months ending September. 

In September, the number of unemployed citizens rose from 64,200 to 65,000. 

Among residents, the number of jobless went from 72,600 in the second quarter to 74,700 in the three months ending September. 

Total employment in the third quarter of 2019 (excluding foreign domestic workers) grew by 22,400, higher than the 6,200 figure in the second quarter and the same period last year (16,700). 

Jobs growth was broad-based across main industries. 

Growth in services was also higher than a year ago, led by community, social and personal services, professional services, and information and communications, while sectors such as wholesale and retail trade registered smaller declines over the quarter.

Employment in manufacturing also increased after three consecutive quarters of decline, though the growth was lower than a year ago, said MOM.

Employment in construction picked up, due to increasing private and public sector construction activities.


Retrenchments rose between the second and third quarter of 2019 from 2,320 to 2,900, but remained comparable to a year ago (2,860). All three broad sectors saw increase in retrenchments over the quarter.

Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments (66 per cent), followed by manufacturing (21 per cent) and construction (14 per cent).

(Editor’s Note: The second quarter's unemployment rate for citizens was previously reported as 3.3 per cent. MOM has since said that this was a preliminary estimate, releasing finalised data which puts citizen unemployment rate at 3.2 per cent.)

Source: CNA/ic(rw)


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