Construction sector recorded highest employment declines.
The total employment in the first quarter of the year declined by 8,500, compared to the seasonal high in the fourth quarter of 2016.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, it was also lower than in the first quarter of 2016, which saw a rise of 13,000. The contraction was mainly due to a decrease in Work Permit Holders in manufacturing and construction.
Employment in manufacturing continued to decline (-4,400) in the first quarter of 2017, though it eased from the sharp contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016 (-6,500). Construction employment contracted (-12,900) for the third consecutive quarter.
The declines were offset by services where employment continued to grow by 8,700 in the first quarter of 2017. Growth was however lower than the seasonal increase of 17,100 in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the same period a year ago (13,200).
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