, Singapore

Unemployment rates back to pre-COVID levels: MoM

The overall rate fell to 2.1% in February.

Unemployment rates were now back to pre-COVID levels, with the overall rate improving to 2.1% from 2.3% in February, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MoM).

Residents’ unemployment rate dropped to 3% from 3.1% during the same period, with 71,700 residents unemployed, whilst for citizens, the rate declined to 3.2% from 3.3% or equivalent to 65,000 citizens, data from the MoM showed.

Moving forward, the ministry said they expect the unemployment rate to “fluctuate” around this level depending on the prevailing economic situations.

“The high number of vacancies could bring rates down further, but at the same time, the downside risks in the global economy have increased – protracted supply chain disruptions and higher energy prices could affect business sentiments and profitability,” it said.

For his part, Minister of Manpower Tan Seng Lee said the resident unemployment rate was on par with the quarterly average in 2018 and 2019, adding that employers and employees in the Lion City have shown “great resilience” over the past two years.”

“Employers are looking beyond conventional ‘plug-and-play’ options for hiring, and employees have been more open to new opportunities and learning new skills. With your efforts, Singapore’s economy will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said on a Facebook post.

He added that the government will continue to support businesses and workers in their transformation journeys and assistance for jobseekers is still available through Wokrforce Singapore-WSG, NTUC’s Employment & Employability Institue, e2i, and SG United Jobs and Skill placement partners.

The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme and the Jobs Growth Incentive to support mature and vulnerable workforce segments have also been extended as announced at the Budget 2022, Tan said.

“With the recent easing of border restrictions and safe management measures, I am optimistic that our labour market situation will hold steady in the coming months,” he said.

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