HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Resident unemployment rate dips to 3.2% in September

But employment is still declining no thanks to less marine and construction Work Permit Holders.

Singapore's resident unemployment rate dipped to 3.2% in September 2017, whilst the rate for overall remained unchanged at 2.2%, the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) revealed.

According to its labour market report, the decline in total employment excluding Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW), has been easing since the beginning of the year.

It contracted by 4,100, which is smaller than 9,400 in Q1 and 7,900 in Q2.

"The decline continued to be due mainly to the decrease in Work Permit Holders in Marine and Construction. Employment growth occurred mainly in sectors such as Community, Social & Personal Services, Accommodation, Financial Services and Professional Services," MoM said.

Retrenchments declined from 3,640 in Q2 to 3,400 in Q3, which was also lower than a year ago at 4,220.

The six-month re-entry rate into employment of retrenched residents rose slightly to 66% in Q3, the highest level since 77% in 4Q2015.

In particular, younger workers below 30 and production & transport operations, cleaners & labourers had the highest rates of re-entry.

Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted job vacancies to unemployed ratio improved to 0.87, continuing an uptrend since December 2016, which posted 0.77.

Here's more from MoM:

For the whole of 2017, local employment is likely to grow more than the 11,200 recorded in 2016, even as total employment could contract due to declines in Marine and Construction.

In line with the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s 2018 GDP growth forecast of 1.5% to 3.5%, with growth likely to come in at around the middle of the forecast range, local employment is expected to continue to grow next year but remain uneven across sectors.

Even as the pace of economic growth is expected to remain firm, job-skills mismatch will continue to be a growing challenge due to ongoing economic restructuring and shifts in composition of the resident labour force.

MOM, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and tripartite partners will continue to support jobseekers and at-risk workers through initiatives under SkillsFuture and Adapt & Grow (A&G).

In the first nine months of 2017, more than 18,000 individuals were successfully placed. Of these, more than half were mature workers (≥40 years old) and more than half were Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs). 

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