SINGAPORE: The unemployment rate for Singaporeans continued its upward trend in the second quarter of 2019, according to preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its Labour Market Report on Friday (Jul 26). 

The jobless rate for citizens stood at 3.3 per cent at June 2019, compared with 3.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, MOM said. 

The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate held steady in June at 2.2 per cent, but rose slightly for residents from 3 per cent in the previous quarter to 3.1 per cent in the April to June quarter. 

Unemployment q2

Manpower Minister Mrs Josephine Teo noted that while job growth slowed, it “did not stall”.

“When hiring becomes more subdued, being flexible helps jobseekers greatly,” said Mrs Teo, adding that the Government is monitoring the labour market closely.

In June, about 64,300 citizens and 72,400 residents were unemployed, compared with 62,200 citizens and 69,700 residents in March.

Total employment growth in the second quarter of 2019 (excluding foreign domestic workers) grew by 4,000, lower than the 10,700 figure in the first quarter and the same period last year (6,500). 

Jobs growth was robust in several sectors, including information and communications, social and personal services and financial services, said MOM. 

Employment in construction picked up, continuing from the slight uptick in the first quarter, but the manufacturing sector continued to shed workers. 

Retrenchments Q2

Retrenchments were lower than at 2,300 when compared with the first quarter (3,230) of 2019 and the same period (3,030) in 2018. 

“This suggests that while firms had slowed down their hiring, they were not laying off existing workers,” said MOM. 

Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments (74 per cent), followed by
manufacturing (22 per cent) and construction (4.3 per cent).