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ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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More Singaporeans to snatch up jobs by year-end: UOB

With joblessness rates falling in the first quarter, UOB Global Economics say things are likely to continue improving.

The unemployment rate eased to 2.9% in March, with 4,800 Singaporeans finding jobs in the first quarter.

This is according to the provisional data released by the Ministry of Manpower on the labour market.

UOB Global Economics and Markets Research said this employment trend will continue until an estimated 2.6% unemployment rate expected for the fourth quarter.

However, it noted that recovery across sectors would likely be uneven.

"Given a low-base labour environment in the services sector in 2020, we expect the services sector to see more labour demand in the quarters ahead especially given the firmer domestic economic environment. Similarly, the manufacturing sector may potentially see stronger labour demand, especially as the sector’s growth is expected to stay underpinned by the semiconductor-related segments. On the flipside, the construction sector may continue to see sustained labour supply restrictions given the exacerbation of COVID-19 risks across parts of Asia," UOB said in a statement.

It noted that March's figures was the first gain in total employment after four straight quarters of decline.

Retrenchments also declined for the second consecutive quarter, to 2,100 persons from 5,640 in the previous quarter. This is also the lowest since the third quarter of 2011, suggesting that retrenchment has fallen to pre-COVID levels.

The Ministry of Manpower is set to release the official labour market figures for the first quarter in mid-June.

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