SINGAPORE - Unemployment rates in Singapore continued to decline in November last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Manpower on Thursday (Jan 6).
The overall unemployment rate was 2.5 per cent, down from 2.6 per cent in October.
The resident unemployment rate fell to 3.2 cent, from 3.4 per cent in October, while the citizen unemployment rate dipped to 3.5 per cent, from 3.6 per cent previously.
"This indicates that our labour market is recovering steadily, with the economy rebounding from the recession in 2020 and GDP (gross domestic product) growing by 7.2 per cent last year," said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng in a Facebook post on Thursday.
"The increase in group sizes for dining out and the opening of more vaccinated travel lanes have allowed sectors hardest-hit by Covid-19 such as food and beverage services and air transport to begin ramping up capacity again. We expect hiring demand in domestic sectors to pick up with gradual relaxation of community measures," said Dr Tan.
There were 76,600 residents who were unemployed in November, of whom 70,200 are citizens.
This is down from the 80,000 unemployed residents in October, including 72,200 citizens.
According to The Business Times, November's figures are the lowest since March 2020, when overall unemployment was 2.5 per cent, resident unemployment 3.5 per cent and citizen unemployment 3.6 per cent.
Dr Tan noted that the road to recovery "is still an uneven one" and that it will be paved with uncertainties.
"With the spread of the Omicron variant throughout the world, it is likely that Singapore will see a new wave of cases in the coming weeks. Businesses and workers need to be adaptable and flexible as the Covid-19 situation changes," he added.
Jobseekers who need support can approach Workforce Singapore and National Trades Union Congress' Employment and Employability Institute for career matching services.
Dr David Leong, managing director of PeopleWorldwide Consulting, a human resources search and advisory firm, said the effect of the Omicron variant on jobs should be minimal.
"The scare factor is substantially reduced as data reveals that this strain is milder, though more infectious. Furthermore, our vaccination rate with boosters is high.
"Unemployment should not be a major concern in the coming quarters as businesses are looking to expand aggressively over lost time," said Dr Leong.
As working from home has become increasingly entrenched, more businesses and employers would have factored this in, and more jobs will also be reconfigured to suit the work-from-home setting, he noted.