Unemployment rose in the first quarter of the year, although there were fewer layoffs, according to preliminary figures released by the Manpower Ministry on Wednesday.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.1 per cent in March 2014 from 1.8 per cent last December. The resident unemployment rate was 2.9 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent, while the rate for citizens was 3.0 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent.
Layoffs fell after rising in the preceding quarter. Some 2,900 workers lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2014, down from 3,660 in the preceding quarter, but more than the 2,120 workers affected in the first quarter of last year.
Total employment growth fell to 24,900, down from the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the preceding quarter and lower than the 28,900 in the first quarter of last year.