by Daniel Yap
The Labour Market Report for the third quarter of 2016 shows signs of a gloomy season for Singapore.
Total employment for the period was down by 2,700 – while it isn’t a big number in itself, it shows growth dipping into the negative for the first time since Q1 2015. The previous time it dipped was during the 2008/2009 downturn.
Total employment growth in the first three quarters of 2016 is also the lowest since 2009, at 14,500. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that the job losses affected mainly Work Permit holders and was due to contractions in manufacturing and construction.
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Layoffs up until September are also the highest since 2009. But a small positive counterpoint to that figure is that resident re-entry rates (re-entering the workforce after a redundancy) have bucked a nine-month long slide to come in at 49 per cent, an improvement of over 45 per cent compared to three months ago.
Long term unemployment (more than 25 weeks) for Singapore residents also rose from 0.6 per cent to 0.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Seasonally adjusted overall unemployment stayed level between the second and third quarters at 2.1 per cent.
The Manpower Ministry’s conclusion: “The contraction in total employment, heightened redundancy levels and decline in job vacancies to unemployed ratio reflect the current subdued global economic conditions and ongoing economic restructuring.”
And with the global outlook showing no signs of improvement, that means tough times ahead.
You can find detailed numbers from the report on MOM’s website.
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