More job vacancies, fewer lost jobs in first quarter of 2013

The labour market remained tight in the first three months of the year with more job vacancies and fewer workers losing their jobs, according to latest figures from the Manpower Ministry. Seasonally adjusted job vacancies rose by 17 per cent over the quarter, reversing the 7 per cent decline in December 2012. There were 2,120 workers made redundant, down from both the quarter before and the year before.

But as earlier reported, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 1.9 per cent in March, from 1.8 per cent last December. Resident unemployment - for citizens and permanent residents - rose to 2.9 per cent from 2.7 per cent previously, though citizen unemployment stayed at 2.9 per cent.

However, long-term unemployment improved slightly. In March this year, 13,700 or 0.6 per cent of the resident labour force had been unemployed for at least 25 weeks, down from 14,000 or 0.7 per cent a year ago.

Employment in the first three months grew by 28,900, down from 44,000 in the last quarter of 2012 but up from 27,200 the year before.