Singapore’s unemployment rate falls to 2.7% in August

The overall unemployment rate in August fell by 0.1 percentage point to 2.7% month-on-month, due to a temporary easing of labour demand.
By: | October 12, 2021

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which said both the resident unemployment rate and citizen employment rate also fell by 0.1 percentage point to 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively in August month-on-month.

For August, there were 84,400 unemployed residents, of whom 75,800 were citizens. From July 22 to August 18, Singapore was under a Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), when restrictions were in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Manpower minister Tan See Leng said in a Facebook post that Singapore’s unemployment situation over the longer term continues to show a gradual recovery despite the slight increase in July.

Singapore’s unemployment rate rose briefly in July to 2.8%, ending an eight-month improvement trend after it peaked in September last year.

“We do not take this for granted – we are still closely monitoring the public health situation. Recovery is expected to be uneven across sectors, and the domestically-oriented sectors will likely continue to be impacted by COVID-19,” Tan said.

July’s data may be attributable to a “knee-jerk reaction” to the announcement of Singapore’s reversion to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), said OCBC chief economist Selena Ling.

READ: Singapore recovers US$266 million from overpayment of wage subsidies

“I expect that the unemployment rate may ‘bounce’ around these levels for a bit as businesses and consumers grapple with the stabilisation-period measures in September and October as well, amid the uptick in COVID cases, but the overall direction should still be a gradual improvement going into end-2021 and into 2022,” she said, according to The Business Times.