Unemployment in Singapore hits seven-year high in second quarter

Author: PM editorial | Date: 3 Aug 2016

Ministry of Manpower estimates 68,300 jobless but employment in service industry rises

Unemployment in Singapore rose to a seven-year high of 68,300 in the second quarter of the year.
Preliminary statistics from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that joblessness among foreign residents and citizens increased from 1.9 per cent in the first quarter to 2.1 per cent in June. The total figure was the highest since it reached 98,100 in September 2009, the height of global recession.
Estimates showed that the number of workers made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 rose to 5,500 from 4,710 in the previous quarter and was also 3,250 higher than during the same quarter a year ago.
“Total employment growth slowed and layoffs increased from the previous quarter […] amid subdued global economic conditions” said the MOM report, which noted that unemployment had shrunk slightly in the previous quarter.
However, total employment among those of working age reached 3,674,700 in June, which was 1.3 per cent higher than the same period last year and slightly offsets the increase in unemployment.
The growth in overall employment was largely attributed to the service industry (up 8,600), though its pace of growth had slowed from the previous quarter, when it reached 13,200. Manufacturing continued the previous quarter’s trend of a decline in employment, losing 3,400 jobs. Construction remained relatively unchanged.
Older workers who find themselves at risk of losing their job may be able to work with their employers to make use of Singapore’s S$66 million fund to redesign jobs to become more age-friendly, the ministry said.
“We will continue to […] help displaced workers to seize new job opportunities through various career and employment support programmes under SkillsFuture, and Adapt and Grow initiatives,” added the MOM report.