Singapore sees jobless rate returning to pre-pandemic levels in coming months

Office workers wearing masks cross a street during lunch hour, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Singapore, on May 12, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Singapore's manpower ministry said on Friday (Jan 28) it expects the country's jobless rate to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the months ahead as the unemployment situation continues to improve, with borders slowly reopening and retrenchments declining.

Data showed on Friday that the overall preliminary unemployment rate in December was 2.4 per cent compared with 2.5 per cent in November.

Total employment, excluding migrant domestic workers, grew by 47,400 in the fourth quarter, with non-resident employment seeing growth for the first time in eight quarters, as the country eased border restrictions.

The 2021 annual unemployment rate improved to 2.6 per cent from 3.0 per cent in 2020, according to Friday's preliminary data.

It is still higher than the rate of 2.3 per cent in 2019 before the pandemic. The final figures will be released in March.