2012 labour market report: Local employment up, foreign employment growth slowed

Local employment rose faster and foreign employment growth slowed in 2012, the Ministry of Manpower's latest labour market report shows. This was attributed to tighter foreign manpower controls.

Total employment, including construction and foreign domestic workers, grew by 129,100 or 4 per cent last year. This was slightly higher than the 3.9 per cent growth in 2011, mainly due to employment growth in the construction sector.

Local employment rose by 58,700 or 2.9 per cent, higher than the 1.9 per cent rise in 2011.

Amid the tightening of foreign manpower controls, the growth in foreign employment eased to 70,400 or 5.9 per cent in 2012, down from 84,800 or 7.6 per cent in 2011.

The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2 per cent.

Resident unemployment rate dipped to 2.8 per cent from 2.9 per cent.

On average, 60,000 residents including 53,900 citizens were unemployed in 2012. The corresponding figures in 2011 were 60,600 and 52,900.

In 2012, 11,010 workers were made redundant, up from 9,990 in 2011 but lower than the high of 23,430 during the recession in 2009.

Nearly three in five residents laid off in the third quarter of 2012 found new employment by December 2012.