Unemployment for Singaporeans and PRs rises in third quarter: MOM

Office workers at Raffles Place on Feb 18, 2015.
Office workers at Raffles Place on Feb 18, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Unemployment for Singapore citizens and permanent residents crept up in the third quarter of the year amid softer economic conditions, although total employment rose.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate as of September was 3.1 per cent for citizens and 3 per cent for residents (citizens and PRs), up from 2.9 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively three months earlier. This is the second consecutive quarter of increases.

Overall, the rate remained unchanged at 2 per cent, according to preliminary figures released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Thursday .

"MOM and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency stand ready to help displaced local workers to re-skill and upgrade so that they are able to take on new jobs," the ministry said in a statement.

The three months from July to September also saw the number of people employed rise by 16,400 as a result of growth in the services and construction sector. This was an improvement from the 9,700 rise in the previous quarter and the fall of 6,100 in the preceding one.

This brought the total number of people in jobs here to 3,644,000 as of September.

Firms laid off fewer people for the third consecutive quarter, with 2,900 people losing their jobs from July to September, down from 3,250 in the previous three months.

"In general, the hiring sentiment across industries is muted but there are selected industries which remain positive," said Mr Foo See Yang, acting country general manager of recruitment firm Kelly Services Singapore.

"Employers are closely watching their budgets given the uncertainties in the markets and the talent in the workforce are staying put because of year-end benefits and possible bonus payouts."