Singapore’s resident employment increased in Q3

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) said the labour market saw a rise in resident employment and fewer retrenchments compared to Q2.
By: | November 1, 2021

MOM’s permanent secretary Aubeck Kam, however, said the recovery was uneven across sectors.

Resident employment grew more quickly, particularly in outward-oriented industries such as professional services, information and communications and financial service. On the other hand, sectors such as food and beverage services and retail trade trimmed their resident workforce due to ongoing pandemic border restrictions and safe management measures imposed in the third quarter, said the ministry.

Non-resident employment continued to contract across most sectors due to ongoing border restrictions.

In the third quarter, there were 2,000 fewer retrenchments compared to 2,340 in the second quarter and forms about 25% of the number of retrenchments recorded when unemployment peaked last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MOM said.

Unemployment rates also fell for the second consecutive month, after a brief rise in July. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point in all categories, with the overall rate standing at 2.6%, resident unemployment at 3.5% and citizen unemployment at 3.7%.

MOM said the unemployment rate has “continued to ease steadily” since its peak a year ago but remains elevated compared to pre-pandemic times.

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Singapore is in a Stabilisation Phase until end-November. As such, “mixed employment trends” are expected to continue into the next quarter, particularly in those sectors affected by the extension of COVID-19 restrictions, Kam said.

Nevertheless, Singapore’s expansion of the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme and travel-related activities may give a boost to industries such as accommodation and air transport services, the ministry added.