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Labour Market, Second Quarter 2012

Unemployment and Layoffs Declined Amid Stronger Job Creation

14 September 2012

  1. Employment creation increased in the second quarter, while layoffs eased for the second successive quarter. Consequently, unemployment declined, reversing the slight increase a quarter ago. These are the key findings from the "Labour Market, Second Quarter 2012" report released by the Ministry of Manpower's Research and Statistics Department.

    Main Findings
  2. Employment creation increased in the second quarter, after moderating in the previous quarter. Total employment grew by 31,700 in the second quarter of 2012, higher than the gains of 24,800 in the same period last year and 27,200 in the first quarter of 2012. Cumulatively, employment rose by 58,900 in the first half of 2012, compared with the increase of 53,100 in the corresponding period of 2011.
  3. Services contributed the majority of employment gains in the second quarter of 2012 (17,300), though this eased from the same period last year (19,300). Supported by public infrastructure projects, growth in construction workforce (9,700) accelerated for the seventh successive quarter. Manufacturing employment grew by 4,700, as gains led by petroleum, chemical & pharmaceutical products (3,500) outnumbered the declines mainly in electronic, computer & optical products (-500).
  4. Amid the strong employment creation, unemployment declined in June 2012, after the slight rise a quarter ago. The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate dipped over the quarter by 0.1%-point to 2.0% in June, erasing the increase in March. The rate for residents and citizens declined by 0.2%-point to 2.8% and 3.0% respectively.
  5. The long-term unemployment rate was unchanged over the year at 0.7%. Some 15,700 or 20% of the unemployed residents had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in June 2012, similar to 15,500 or 19% a year ago.
  6. Layoffs fell for the second successive quarter, after rising in the fourth quarter of 2011. 2,210 workers were made redundant in the second quarter of 2012, down from 2,600 in the first quarter of 2012 and 3,250 in the fourth quarter of 20111.
  7. Based on CPF records, three in five (60%) residents laid off in the first quarter of 2012 secured employment by June 2012. This re-entry rate into employment within six months of redundancy rose from the 50% experienced by the previous cohort in March 2012.
  8. Amid the subdued global economic outlook, the number of job vacancies declined over the year by 15% to 47,300 in June 20121. After adjusting for seasonality, job openings fell over the quarter by 8.9% to 45,600. This was the second consecutive quarter of decline after hitting the high of 55,400 in December 2011.

    For More Information
  9. The report is available online on MOM's Statistics and Publication webpage

1 Data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees and the public sector.