The overall unemployment rate in Singapore has increased to 3.4 per cent in August, surpassing the high of 3.3 per cent recorded during the global financial crisis in September 2009, according to the report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (7 Oct).

MOM released its latest jobs situation report today which showed that the overall unemployment rate for August rose by 0.4 per cent from July.

However, the overall unemployment rate recorded in August is still lower than the peak of 6.4 per cent recorded in September 2003 during the SARS period.

According to its report, the citizen unemployment rate increased to 4.6 per cent between July and August – the highest since September 2009 with a 4.9 per cent jobless rate.

The unemployment rate for residents – citizens and permanent residents – rose to 4.5 per cent in August.

The Ministry stated in a press release that it has begun tracking the unemployment rate on a monthly basis to “monitor the labour situation more closely”.

“We observe that while monthly unemployment rates have so far generally remained lower than past recessionary highs, it has been gradually rising.”

“It remains to be seen if unemployment will rise more quickly in the coming months,” it added.

The Manpower Minister Josephine Teo reassured that jobs are still available in this period despite the “slight uptick” in the jobless rate.

“We also saw the ability to pull together more opportunities. And the vast majority of these opportunities that have been pulled together remain, still, in terms of jobs.

“And of the 60,000 or so long-term jobs available, a large part of it is still coming from the private sector,” she told media during a visit to construction company Samwoh Group today.

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