Highlights of Labour Market, First Quarter 2013 in Singapore

  • The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate remained low at 1.9% in March 2013, compared with 1.8% in December 2012. The unemployment rate for residents rose to 2.9% from 2.7%, while the citizen unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.9%. An estimated 57,700 residents including 50,000 Singapore citizens were unemployed in March 2013. The seasonally adjusted figures were 60,600 for residents and 52,900 for citizens.
  • Long-term unemployment improved slightly over the year. 13,700 unemployed residents making up 0.6% of the resident labour force in March 2013 had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks, down from 14,000 or 0.7% a year ago. 
  • Employment creation slowed from the seasonal high in the previous quarter. Total employment grew by 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013, substantially lower than the increase of 44,000 in the last quarter of 2012, but slightly above the 27,200 in the first quarter of 2012. This brought total employment to 3,386,500 in March 2013, which was 4.0% higher than a year ago.
  • Redundancy declined, after rising in the preceding two quarters. 2,120 workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 2013. This was lower than the 3,350 workers affected in the preceding quarter and 2,600 in the first quarter of 2012. Based on CPF records, nearly one in two (49%) residents laid off in the fourth quarter of 2012 secured employment by March 2013 (i.e. within six months of redundancy), down from the 57% experienced by the previous cohort (laid off in the third quarter of 2012) in December 2012. 
  • Job openings rose, after declining in the previous quarter. The seasonally adjusted vacancies increased over the quarter by 17% in March 2013, reversing the decline of 7.0% in December 2012. With the increase in job vacancies, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons rose from 1.05 in December 2012 to 1.21 in March 2013, back to around the level of 1.23 in September 2012.

Read full report at http://www.mom.gov.sg/Publications/mrsd_qtlmr131.pdf

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