ECONOMY, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Job vacancies outnumbered the unemployed in March

The unemployed ratio improved from 0.92 in December 2017 to 1.04 in March 2018.

There were more job vacancies than people without jobs in Singapore as its unemployed ratio improved from 0.92 in December 2017 to 1.04 in March 2018, the first time since March 2016, according to the Labour Market Report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The overall unemployment rate with seasonal adjustment in Singapore slipped from 2.1% in December 2017 to 2.0% in March 2018.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for residents dipped from 3.0% in December 2017 to 2.8% in March 2018, whilst unemployment rate for citizens remained at 3.0%. The report also found that the decline in the resident unemployment rate came mostly from those aged 30 and over as well as those with post-secondary and degree qualifications. 

“As the resident unemployment rate declined to the lowest level since March 2016, further improvements will be harder to attain,” the study noted.

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The 0.7% decline in the first quarter of 2018 from 0.8% in December 2017 in the seasonally adjusted resident long-term unemployment rate was seen most in residents aged below 30 (from 0.9% to 0.6%), and those with post-secondary qualifications (from 0.9% to 0.5%), the report noted.

In 1Q18, total employment excluding Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) rose by 4,001, which is positive compared to the decline of 9,400 in 1Q17. The report noted that sectors like community, social and personal services, financial services and insurance services, information and communication, transportation and storage, and professional services yielded employment growth.

Also readSingapore's number of employed full-time workers is the fifth highest globally

Meanwhile, there was a decline in employment of work permit holders in construction and marine shipyard, the study found. 

“To keep unemployment low, it is critical to prepare workers and businesses to be agile and responsive to economic restructuring and the evolving employment landscape,” the study concluded.

MOM and Workforce Singapore will support workers in skills upgrading to help them for new opportunities through the Adapt and Grow initiative. The agencies will also aid businesses to innovate and transform through the Lean Enterprise Development (LED) Scheme and the Capability Transfer Programme (CTP), an announcement revealed.

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