Total employment grew to 55,200 in 2019

The services industry saw the most expansion in local employment.

With steady growth in each quarter of 2019, total employment grew by 55,200 for the whole year, up from the 38,300 expansion in 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)..

However, the fourth quarter of 2019 saw the number of employments fall to 16,600 from 21,700 in Q3. But on a yearly basis, employment count for Q4 is higher compared to the same period a year ago of 14,700, noted MOM.

Also Read: Employment growth rose to 21,700 in Q3

The services industry saw the most growth in local employment in 2019, including community, social & personal services, professional services and information & communications. Meanwhile, local employment contracted in the manufacturing and wholesale trade industries on the back of softer economic conditions.

For the whole year, local employment edged up by 26,500, similar to 27,400 in 2018. Meanwhile,oreign employment contracted to 14,900 in 2019 from 16,300 in the previous year. About half of foreign employment growth was due to an increase in work permit holders for construction alone. 

Overall unemployment rates held steady with a 2.3% uptick in December 2019 after trending up in previous quarters.

Unemployment rate went up to 2.3% in 2019, from 2018’s 2.1%. The average rate for residents inched up to 3.2% from previous year’s 2.9%, whilst the rate for citizens rose to 3.3% compared to a 3% in 2018.

Meanwhile, the number of laid-off workers went slightly higher in Q4 with 2,700 retrenchments, from Q3’s 2,470, and from the same quarter in 2018 with 2,510 retrenchments.

Layoffs for the whole 2019 remained at the same level as in 2018 with 10,700, with Manufacturing and Services seeing higher numbers compared to Construction.

The real median income of full-time employed workers grew 3.9% per annum (p.a.) from 2014 to 2019, significantly higher than the 2.1% p.a. in the previous five years.

From 2014 to 2019, the real income growth at the 20th percentile rose by 4.6% p.a., higher than the 3.9% p.a. at the median.

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