Unemployment rate creeps up in the first quarter of 2014 but more job vacancies unfilled

The rate of unemployment crept up in the first quarter of 2014, but the number of job openings continued to outnumber that of job seekers amid continued strong job growth, based on the latest official figures released by the Manpower Ministry on Frid
The rate of unemployment crept up in the first quarter of 2014, but the number of job openings continued to outnumber that of job seekers amid continued strong job growth, based on the latest official figures released by the Manpower Ministry on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The rate of unemployment crept up in the first quarter of 2014, but the number of job openings continued to outnumber that of job seekers amid continued strong job growth, based on the latest official figures released by the Manpower Ministry on Friday.

The overall seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 2 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent in December. It rose from 2.7 per cent to 2.9 per cent for residents, and from 2.8 per cent to 3.0 per cent for citizens.

The number of those employed grew by 28,300, lower than the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the quarter before and the gain of 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013.

Fewer workers were laid off in the first quarter of this year than in the preceding quarter, although the March figure of 3,110 was higher than the 2,120 of the year before.

More job vacancies were unfilled. The number of seasonally-adjusted job vacancies rose for the third consecutive quarter, although the increase moderated to 3 per cent. The ratio of job vacancies to job seekers stood at 1.33 in March, a slight drop from 1.43 in December.

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