, Singapore

Unemployment declines by 16,200 in Q2

However, there was an increase of retrenchments to 2,340.

In a report released by the Ministry of Manpower, total employment for 1H 2021 experienced a decline of 16,200. 

Part of this can be attributed to on-going border restrictions that resulted in a 32,600 decline of non-resident employees. 

Residential employment, meanwhile, increased by 28,500 in the first half of 2021. 

An increase in retrenchments was also felt, to 2,340 in 2Q 2021 from 2,270 in 1Q 2021.

Unemployment rates continued to decline as well, with the overall rate reaching 2.7% in June 2021. Resident unemployment rates stayed at 3.5% while the citizen unemployment rate hovered at 3.7%. Resident long-term unemployment, meanwhile, dipped to 0.9% in June 2021, a dip from the 1.1% high recorded in December 2020 and March 2021. 

Despite all the developments, however, sector growth in the labor market     showed signs of unevenness. 

Tighter Covid restrictions, for example, led to less demand in specific areas. An increase in the number of workers placed on temporary layoff  to 5,580 in Q2 2021, compared to the 4,020 in 1Q 2021, was observed. Food & Beverage services, in particular, felt the brunt of this. 

On-going border limitations, meanwhile, meant that manpower shortages were felt in Construction and Manufacturing, financial & insurance services, professional services and Information & Communications. Job vacancies inflated to a high of 92,100 in June 2021, an increase from the 68,400 recorded in March 2021. This also resulted in an increased ratio of vacancies to unemployed persons from 0.96 to 1.63. 

The six-month re-entry rate for retrenched residents also faced a slight decline at 64% in 2Q 2021 following the improvements from 4Q 2020 and 1Q 2021.

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