Unemployment, layoffs up in second quarter but job creation still strong

Office workers at Raffles Place. Unemployment and layoffs rose in the second quarter of the year, suggesting some easing of the tight labour market, according to a Manpower Ministry (MOM) report released on Wednesday. Employment growth, however, rema
Office workers at Raffles Place. Unemployment and layoffs rose in the second quarter of the year, suggesting some easing of the tight labour market, according to a Manpower Ministry (MOM) report released on Wednesday. Employment growth, however, remained strong. -- ST PHOTO: ALAN LIM

Unemployment and layoffs rose in the second quarter of the year, suggesting some easing of the tight labour market, according to a Manpower Ministry (MOM) report released on Wednesday. Employment growth, however, remained strong.

According to preliminary figures, the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate was 2.1 per cent in June, up from 1.9 per cent in March. The resident unemployment rate rose to 3 per cent from 2.9 per cent previously, and the citizen unemployment rate to 3.1 per cent from 2.9 per cent.

However, employment grew by 32,500 in the second quarter, more than the growth of 28,900 in the previous quarter, and slightly above the 31,700 growth a year before. This brought total employment to 3.4 million in June, 4 per cent higher than a year ago.

This was despite a rise in layoffs, which the MOM said occurred "amid business restructuring and consolidation". In the second quarter, 2,900 workers lost their jobs, up from 2,120 in the three months before.