Singapore's resident unemployment falls for sixth consecutive month

The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged from March at 2.9 per cent. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's labour market continued its recovery in April this year, latest statistics from the Ministry of Manpower showed on Thursday (June 3).

The resident unemployment rate, which covers Singapore citizens and permanent residents, declined for the sixth consecutive month. It fell to 3.9 per cent, from 4 per cent in the preceding month.

Unemployment for Singapore citizens also dropped to 4.1 per cent, from 4.2 per cent previously.

The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged from March at 2.9 per cent.

About 92,100 residents were unemployed in April, including 82,800 citizens.

This is down from 95,500 unemployed residents in March.

Unemployment rates peaked in September last year at 3.5 per cent and persisted through October, before falling steadily since November.

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng noted in a Facebook post on Thursday that job matches have been boosted and unemployment rates kept on a downward trend, but he is "also mindful that our unemployment rates remain elevated".

"We will continue to monitor our unemployment rates closely, especially as businesses in certain sectors are again faced with challenges with the recent tightening of measures in phase two (heightened alert)."

Dr Tan, who is also Second Minister for Trade and Industry, added: "Our priority is to get through this pandemic and position ourselves strongly for the future. I urge businesses to tap the suite of support schemes available to pivot and transform, in order to adapt to the new normal."

He also assured jobseekers that support channels - including jobs, traineeships, attachments and training opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package; virtual career fairs and workshops organised by Workforce Singapore; as well as career guidance from career coaches and ambassadors - remain open.

"I want to assure jobseekers that we are with you at every step of your journey," he said.

Mr Paul Heng, managing director of NeXT Career Consulting Group, said he expects that the business outlook will continue to be positive and encouraging, attributing this partly to "how our nation has responded so swiftly and positively to the current temporary setback", referring to phase two (heightened alert).

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's message to Singaporeans earlier this week during his national address on the Covid-19 situation also spurred positive sentiments, Mr Heng noted.

He cited how banks like DBS are hiring more engineers to manage the challenges of digitalisation, while gaming company Razer has also made headlines for its announcement of a potential entry into the cryptocurrency space.

"All these are boosting the already positive sentiments and will continue to encourage businesses to hire and move forward," said Mr Heng.

"If nothing overly adverse happens such as more virus variants and community cases spiking, we should be set for a good year."

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