Unemployment, layoffs fall in Q2

Unemployment, layoffs fall in Q2

SINGAPORE - Unemployment fell in the second quarter due to more jobs created and fewer layoffs, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday.

In its most recent report, the ministry's Research and Statistics Department revealed that total employment grew by 31,700 in Q2, up from 27,200 in Q1 and 24,800 in the same period last year.

The service industry saw the highest number of employment gains for the quarter at 17,300 jobs filled. This number was however, down from last year's 19,300.

Employment in the construction sector grew for the seventh quarter in a row with 9,700 jobs created.

While manufacturing employment grew by 4,700, most of the gains were led by petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical products at 3,500. Manufacturing employment in electronic, computer and optical products declined by 500.

Despite a slight increase in March, unemployment fell by 0.1 per cent point to 2.0 per cent in June.

The jobless rate for residents and citizens also fell by 0.2 per cent point to 2.8 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively.

Long-term unemployment remained unchanged over the year at 0.7 per cent.

About 15,700 or 20 per cent of unemployed residents were found to have been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in June 2012, similar to 15,500 or 19 per cent a year ago.

The number of layoffs fell for the second successive quarter. 2,210 workers were made redundant in the Q2, down from 2,600 in the last quarter and 3,250 at Q4 2011.

Re-entry into the workforce within six months of redundancy rose from 50 per cent in March 2012 to 60 per cent in June 2012.

Randstad Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Deb Loveridge said that Singapore companies are taking a more vigilant approach when it comes to hiring because of growing uncertainties in the global economy.

The number of job vacancies declined over the year by 15 per cent to 47,300 in June 2012.

Seasonally adjusted, the number of openings also fell over the quarter by 8.9 per cent to 45,600.

This was the second consecutive quarter of decline after a high of 55,400 in December 2011.

Citing a recent Randstad report which found that more than 25 per cent of local employees have switched jobs in the past six months. 

“In this tight labour market, a shortage of skilled talent and the high mobility rate makes it challenging for companies to maintain productivity levels and grow their businesses," she said.

She further advised that conditions such as training and career development and a greater work-life balance are the main reasons that employees switch companies.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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