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MOM says overall unemployment rate declined in 1Q but S’porean unemployment rate remains unchanged

In the Labour Market Report for the first quarter of this year, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) reported today (13 Jun) that the Singapore’s labour market has improved.

“Supported by sustained expansion in economic activity, the labour market improved slightly in 1Q 2018,” MOM said.

“Resident unemployment and long-term unemployment rates declined in March 2018. There were significantly fewer retrenchments and more job vacancies. Total employment grew slightly, as growth in the Services sectors more than offset declines in Work Permit Holders in the Construction and Marine Shipyard sectors.”

Overall, MOM reported that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has declined from 2.1% in Dec last year to 2.0% Mar this year.

For residents (i.e, Singaporeans and PRs together), it went down from 3.0% to 2.8%.

However, for Singaporeans alone, the unemployment rate did not go down. It remains at 3.0%.

MOM also reported that that in 1Q this year, the total employment (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) grew by 4001.

“Employment growth in Community, Social & Personal Services, Financial Services & Insurance Services, Information & Communications, Transportation & Storage and Professional Services more than offset the decline in Work Permit Holders in Construction and Marine Shipyard,” it noted.

“With more job vacancies and fewer unemployed persons, the seasonally-adjusted job vacancies to unemployed ratio improved from 0.92 in December 2017 to 1.04 in March 2018. This was the first time since March 2016 (1.05) where there were more job vacancies than unemployed persons.”

Still, despite having more job vacancies than unemployed persons, unemployment rate for Singaporeans only remains unchanged at 3.0%.

Meanwhile, MOM encouraged Singaporeans to go for upgrading and training.

“To keep unemployment low, it is critical to prepare workers and businesses to be agile and responsive to economic restructuring and the evolving employment landscape. MOM and Workforce Singapore will support workers in upgrading their skillsets for new opportunities through the Adapt and Grow initiative,” it said.