, Singapore
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Singapore produced 88,400 jobs in 2023

The surge was attributed to a rise in foreign manpower employment.

The total employment in Singapore increased by 88,400 in 2023, as per data from the Ministry of Manpower.

The surge was primarily attributed to non-resident employment, which accounted for a significant portion of the increase at 83,500, particularly within the construction and manufacturing industries. 

Resident employment also experienced an increase of 4,900, with growth concentrated in sectors such as financial services and professional services.

In sectors with typical yearend seasonal hiring such as retail trade (2,400), food and beverage services (500), and arts, entertainment, and recreation (400), resident employment growth was also observed. However, these increases were considerably lower than in previous years.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates remained stable and low by December 2023, with the overall rate standing at 2%. Resident and citizen unemployment rates lingered slightly higher at 2.8% and 2.9%, respectively. The long-term unemployment rate maintained its stability at 0.7%.

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Whilst the total number of retrenchments in 2023 more than doubled compared to the record low of 2022, it remained consistent with pre-pandemic levels. 

The primary cause for retrenchments continued to be business reorganization or restructuring. There was also a downward trend in the number of retrenchments in the fourth quarter of the year, indicating potential stabilization.

Additionally, job vacancies witnessed a slight uptick in December 2023 after six consecutive quarters of decline, reaching 79,800 from 78,200 in September 2023. 

The increase, coupled with low unemployment rates, contributed to a moderately tight labour market, with the ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons increasing to 1.74 in December from 1.64 in September.

Experts are anticipating a strengthening of labour demand in alignment with improved economic growth forecasts for 2024. 

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