Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that in the third quarter of 2016 the resident long-term unemployment rate rose from a year ago, with the increase broad-based across age and qualifications
In the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were laid off, higher than the same period in 2015 (10,220) and the highest since 2009 (21,210) during the financial crisis.
However, it said that the unemployment rate remained broadly stable among residents.
MOM stated that the total employment contracted by 2,700 in the third quarter of 2016, following slower growth in the past two quarters. This was the first decline since the first quarter of 2015. The decline was primarily due to contractions in Manufacturing and Construction, affecting mainly Work Permit Holders. Over the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest such growth since 2009 (100).
However, re-entry rates are said to have risen. More residents (49%) made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 secured re-employment by September 2016, an increase from the previous quarter (45%), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59%).
Another finding is that after declining for six consecutive quarters, the number of seasonally adjusted job vacancies rose slightly from 49,400 in June 2016 to 50,800 in September 2016. However, the seasonally-adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipped to 0.91 in September 2016, from 0.93 in June 2016.
Based on Central Provident Fund (CPF) records, 49 per cent of residents laid off in the second quarter of this year were back in employment by September, stating that this is an improvement from the re-entry rate of 45 per cent recorded in June.
MOM concluded that the contraction in total employment, heightened redundancy levels and decline in job vacancies to unemployed ratio reflect the current subdued global economic conditions and ongoing economic restructuring.
However, it noted that along with efforts to transform this country's industries and create quality jobs for Singaporeans, the tripartite partners will continue to step up help for workers affected by the economic situation to seize new job opportunities through SkillsFuture and Adapt & Grow initiatives amid this ongoing economic transition.