Singapore's employment increased for two consecutive quarters: MOM

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, Singapore’s resident employment continued to rise while its unemployment rate fell.

Retrenchments, too, dipped in the fourth quarter of last year, after rising for five straight quarters.

While cautioning that recovery might be uneven this year and the momentum gathered by the labour market could potentially stall, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Thursday (Jan 28): “Considering how disruptive the Covid-19 pandemic was at all levels and across all sectors of the economy, the fact that resident employment actually managed some modest growth is something that we are very encouraged about.”

Resident employment grew by 28,900 in the fourth quarter of last year – the second consecutive quarter of growth after expanding by 43,200 workers in the previous three months.

On the other hand, non-resident employment fell by 42,400, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its preliminary estimates for the fourth quarter of last year. This was mainly due to reductions in foreigners holding work permits.

For the whole year, resident employment grew by 9,300, while non-resident employment fell by 181,500, or 16 per cent. This resulted in total employment contracting by 172,200 last year – the most severe in two decades.
“Some of the employment opportunities that people got themselves into last year were not exactly what they had set out to find when they embarked on the job search”.

But locals were willing to try different jobs and that led to the country being able to maintain a “high degree of resident employment” by the end of last year, she added.

Labour market estimates on Thursday also showed retrenchments declining in the fourth quarter of last year to 6,100, after increasing for five consecutive quarters.
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Cited, TheStraitsTimes