Office workers in the central business district of Singapore. (Photo: Sutrisno Foo)
SINGAPORE: Singapore's labour market saw higher unemployment and more retrenchments in the second quarter, although there was also employment growth and more job vacancies available, according to Ministry of Manpower (MOM) figures released on Thursday (Sep 13).
In its quarterly labour market report, the ministry reported that the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 2.1 per cent in the second quarter.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among residents rose from 2.8 per cent in the first quarter to 2.9 per cent in the second quarter, while the rate among citizens rose from 3 per cent to 3.1 per cent from the first to second quarter.
As of June, there were 67,300 residents and 59,800 citizens unemployed, MOM said.
The higher unemployment comes "as more people entered the labour force to look for work on the back of continued expansion in economic activities" and remains lower than a year ago, the ministry added.
The seasonally adjusted resident long-term unemployment rate also edged up from 0.7 per cent in March to 0.8 per cent in June, staying within the range observed in the last two years.
The number of retrenchments rose to 3,030 in the second quarter compared to 2,320 in the first quarter.
This was, however, lower than the same period a year ago, when 3,640 workers were retrenched. The six-month re-entry rate for retrenched residents also improved to 64.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 61 per cent in the previous quarter.
Business restructuring and reorganisation remained the top reason for retrenchment, MOM said.