Total employment edged up in 2012 on the back of construction job growth created by public building projects, according to preliminary figures from the Manpower Ministry.
Foreign employment growth was lower than in 2011, while local employment was higher. There were 129,600 more jobs in 2012, made up of a 59,200 rise in local employment and a 70,400 rise in foreign employment.
The full-year figures are based on preliminary estimates of 44,500 added jobs in the fourth quarter of 2012. Figures also revealed that, layoffs also rose for the second consecutive quarter to 3,400, reflecting the impact of the economic slowdown and restructuring.
But high employment creation meant that unemployment dipped to 1.8 per cent in December, down from 1.9 per cent in September. Resident unemployment also fell to 2.6 per cent, and citizen employment to 2.9 per cent.
For 2012, nominal incomes rose by 5.8 per cent to $3,248. After taking inflation into account, real median income growth was 1.2 per cent in 2012, up slightly from 1 per cent in 2011.