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SG Long-term unemployment spikes, total employment shrinks in Q3: MOM

edited December 2016 in Bagong Balita
SINGAPORE — More jobseekers took a longer time to land jobs at the end of the third quarter this year, compared with the same period last year, while the total number of people in employment shrank and retrenchments hit a seven-year high.

Releasing its labour-market report for the third quarter, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the long-term unemployment rate for citizens and permanent residents as well as retrenchment are at the highest for the period since 2009.

In the first three quarters of the year, there were 13,730 job redundancies.

The rate of residents without a job for at least 25 weeks rose to 0.8 per cent in September this year, compared with 0.6 per cent in September last year. The spike was particularly pronounced among residents aged 50 and above, and those with diploma and professional qualifications.

The proportion of residents who are unemployed for at least 25 weeks also rose to a record high for the period since 2002. This group formed 30 per cent of unemployed residents at the end of the third quarter, an increase from 23 per cent a year ago.

After “slower growth in the past two quarters”, the third quarter also saw the first dip in total employment since the first quarter last year, triggered by contractions in the manufacturing and construction sectors. The total number of people in employment shrank by 2,700 in the third quarter.

In the first nine months of this year, total employment grew by 14,500, recording the lowest growth since the 2009 global economic crisis.

Seasonally adjusted, the overall unemployment rate was unchanged between the end of the second and third quarters, at 2.1 per cent. Unemployment among citizens dipped marginally over the same period, from 3.1 per cent to 3 per cent, as did unemployment among residents, from 3 per cent to 2.9 per cent.

The MOM said that based on Central Provident Fund records, nearly five in 10 (49 per cent) residents who were laid off in the second quarter of the year re-entered the workforce by the end of the third quarter. This is an improvement over the re-entry rate of 45 per cent at the end of the second quarter.

Based on seasonally adjusted figures, the number of jobseekers continued to outnumber the vacancies available, with every 100 jobseekers vying for 91 openings at the end of the third quarter, down from 93 vacancies at the end of the second quarter.

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