Unemployment rate slightly lower in third quarter while job growth slows further

People looking at job listings displayed on boards at a recruitment drive for Pasir Ris-Punggol residents on 3 May, 2014. Singapore's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 1.9 per cent last quarter, according to preliminary figures released
People looking at job listings displayed on boards at a recruitment drive for Pasir Ris-Punggol residents on 3 May, 2014. Singapore's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 1.9 per cent last quarter, according to preliminary figures released by the Manpower Ministry on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - THE unemployment rate dipped slightly to 1.9 per cent last quarter while job growth continued to slow, according to preliminary figures released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Friday.

In the first three quarters of the year, the number of people in jobs grew by 83,100, the job market's poorest showing since 2010.

Quarterly employment growth slowed for the third consecutive quarter as at September, to 27,100. This is lower than the growth of 27,700 in the preceding quarter and the 33,100 in the third quarter of last year.

This brought the total number of people employed to 3,577,000.

While the manufacturing sector saw an uptick of 300 more positions filled after two quarters of job losses, the construction sector experienced its slowest growth, at 3,400, since March 2011.

The services sector continued to make up the bulk of job growth, with 23,500 more workers employed last quarter.

Unemployment remained low. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 1.9 per cent at September 2014, down from 2 per cent in June. The rates for residents and citizens held steady at 2.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, more workers were laid off in the three months leading to September, "reflecting the impact of restructuring", said MOM. There were 3,400 asked to go, compared with 2,710 workers the year before and 2,410 workers in the second quarter of 2014.

The services sector was the worst affected, with 1,900 workers laid off.

The manufacturing and construction sectors let go of 1,300 and 200 workers respectively.