SINGAPORE — December 13, 2016: A total of 13,730 workers were laid off in the first nine months of 2016 in Singapore, the highest since 2009 of 21,210.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its labour market third quarter 2016 report said 4,220 were made redundant in the third quarter, lower than the past quarter of 4,800 but higher than a year ago of 3,460.
For the quarter under review, redundancies fell in the manufacturing and services sectors but edged up in the construction industry.
Professionals, managers, executives and technicians were more likely to be made redundant, said the report, adding that this group formed the majority or 73 per cent of residents made redundant in the third quarter of 2016, higher
than their workforce representation.
However, re-entry rates rose.
Based on Central Provident Fund records, 49 per cent of those made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 were reemployed by September, edging up from June 2016 (45 per cent) after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59 per cent).
On job vacancies, MOM said that after declining for six consecutive quarters, the seasonally adjusted number of job vacancies rose slightly to 50,800 in September from 49,400 in June but remained lower than the same period last year of 56,500.
Job seekers continued to outnumber job vacancies for the second consecutive quarter.
On unemployment, an estimated 66,600 residents, including 58,500 citizens, were unemployed in September, down from June .
The report also revealed that more job seekers were taking a longer time to find work.
The resident long-term unemployment rate rose to 0.8 per cent in September from 0.6 per cent a year ago, the highest September rate since 2009.
Long-term unemployed formed 30 per cent of the unemployed residents, up from 23 per cent a year ago, and the highest observed for a September period since 2002.
The rise in long-term unemployment rate was broad-based across ages and qualifications with larger increases for residents aged 50 and over (0.6 per cent to 1.0 per cent) and those with diploma and professional qualifications
(0.4 per cent to 0.8 per cent), which reached their highest September rates since 2009.
On employment, cumulatively in the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest growth since 2009.
Amid a slowdown in private construction activities, the sector saw 5,300 fewer workers in the third quarter of 2016.
Cumulatively in the first nine months of 2016, the industry saw employment losses of 3,200, in contrast to the growth in the same period last year.
Total employment contracted in the manufacturing sector for the eighth consecutive quarter in the third quarter of 2016 (-3,600), bringing the decline over the first nine months of 2016 to 8,900.
The subdued labour market performance for the sector was likely to extend into the present quarter as manufacturing firms are expected to hire fewer workers, especially for transport and precision engineering.
The contraction in total employment, heightened redundancy levels and decline in job vacancies to unemployed ratio, reflected the current subdued global economic conditions and ongoing economic restructuring. — Bernama