Unemployment and layoffs up in second quarter: Manpower Ministry

People at Robinson Road in the Central Business District (CBD) after office hours.
People at Robinson Road in the Central Business District (CBD) after office hours.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Unemployment and redundancies rose from March to June this year, while employment growth slowed.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.1 per cent as of June 2016, according to preliminary estimates released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (July 28).

The rate for citizens rose to 3.1 per cent, from 2.6 per cent in March, and that for Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) combined was 3 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent.

Unemployment had fallen in the previous quarter for citizens and PRs because a smaller proportion of young people aged 15 to 24 were working or looking for work, MOM said.

At the same time, the number of people employed here grew by 5,500 in the second quarter of the year, bringing total employment to 3,674,700 as of June 2016.

The growth was slower than in the first quarter, when 13,000 were added to the workforce, as there were "subdued global economic conditions", said MOM.

The manufacturing sector continued to shed workers for the seventh consecutive quarter, with 3,400 fewer workers in June than in March. Construction added just 400 workers while services added 8,600.

Overall, about 5,500 workers were laid off in the second quarter - nearly a 70 per cent increase compared with the same quarter last year. The redundancies were largely in the services sector, where 3,400 workers lost their jobs.