In the latest Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s labour market report released on Monday (14 September), it revealed that the retrenchment more than doubled to 8,130 in the second quarter of 2020 from the first quarter figure of 3,220.

This brought the total number of retrenchments in the first half of 2020 to 11,350, said MOM on its report.

It also noted that the retrenchments in second quarter of 2020 were now higher than the peak during the SARS period, but remained lower than the all-time high of the Global Financial Crisis.

According to the report, the unemployment rates for Singaporeans rose to 4.3 per cent in July, up from 4.0 per cent in June and 3.5 per cent in March, with the overall of unemployment rate – combining locals and foreigner – rose to 3.0 per cent in July, up from 2.8 per cent in June and 2.4 per cent in March.

In June, the number of unemployed Singaporeans rose to 78,800, up from 66,900 in March while the foreigner rose to 89,700, up from 76,200 in March.

MOM also said that the Department will be releasing the unemployment rates on a monthly basis to “detect shifts in the employment situation in a more timely manner”.

Meanwhile, MOM revealed that the total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, fell by its sharpest on record to 103,500 in the second quarter of the year, bringing the total employment decline to 129,100 in the first half of the year.

It added that the fall in foreign employment which is 5.7 per cent or 66,400, was steeper than that fall in locals, which is 2.7 per cent or 62,700.

For the number of employees placed on short work-week or temporary layoff, there was a significant increase from 4,190 in first quarter of the year to 81,720 in second quarter of the year, MOM said.

Hence, total of 85,910 employees were placed on short work-week or temporary layoff in the first half of 2020, with 42,190 were placed on short work-week and 43,720 on temporary layoff.

It also noted that Singaporeans and permanent residents accounted for 26,130 of those who placed on short work-week, while foreigners accounted for 30,830 of those on temporary layoff.

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