Singapore managed to avoid higher unemployment in 2021

Government support ensured the unemployment rate hit 3.5% instead of 7.5% in 2021, said the country's finance ministry.
By: | February 18, 2022

The unemployment rate in Singapore last year would have been higher had it not been for support measures from the government, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The resident unemployment rate could have hit 7.5% in 2021, but instead, it fell to 3.5% in 2021, a difference of 4 percentage points, said MOF. In 2020, support measures managed to shave off 2 percentage points off the projected unemployment rate, from 6.1 to 4.1%. 

Support from the government helped to boost the city-state’s GDP and labour market, therefore reducing the impact of the pandemic on the economy, it said in the report. 

Schemes like the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for wage support, SGUnited Jobs and Skills package and Jobs Growth Incentive to promote hiring of locals, helped reduce job losses and supported residents in finding jobs and learning new skills, MOF added.

READ: Fresh grads in Singapore offered higher pay for full-time jobs

Although Singapore’s economy surpassed pre-pandemic output levels by end-2021, recovery was uneven across industries. Outward-oriented sectors experienced strong growth in 2021, but sectors such as aviation and tourism are still operating “significantly below capacity” and projected to recover only moderately in 2022.