Skip to main content

Labour Market, 2012

Local Employment Rose Faster As Growth In Foreigners Slowed In 2012

15 March 2013

  1. Local employment rose faster in 2012, as foreign employment growth slowed amid tighter foreign manpower controls. With high employment creation, unemployment remained low, despite a rise in layoffs. Vacancies eased in December 2012, although there were still more job openings than job seekers available. These are the key findings from the “Labour Market, 2012” report1 released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department.

    Main Findings
  2. Total employment grew by 129,100 or 4.0% in 2012, slightly above the 122,600 or 3.9% in 2011, mainly reflecting the higher employment increase in construction. Excluding construction and foreign domestic workers, the growth in total employment at 86,700 or 3.3% in 2012 was lower than the 95,600 or 3.8% in 2011.
  3. Local employment rose by 58,700 or 2.9%, substantially higher than the gains of 37,900 or 1.9% in 2011. Amid the tightening in foreign manpower controls, the growth in foreign employment eased to 70,400 or 5.9% in 2012 from 84,800 or 7.6% in 2011. Excluding construction and foreign domestic workers, the growth in foreign employment was even lower at 32,200 or 4.6% in 2012, about half of the 60,200 or 9.4% in 2011.
  4. In December 2012, locals accounted for 66.4% of persons employed in Singapore, excluding foreign domestic workers. Foreigners formed the remaining 33.6%, compared with 32.8% in December 2011.
  5. The annual average unemployment rate remained at a low 2.0% for overall and 3.0% for citizens in 2012, unchanged from 2011, while the resident unemployment rate dipped to 2.8% from 2.9%. On average, 60,000 residents including 53,900 citizens were unemployed in 2012. The corresponding figures in 2011 were 60,600 and 52,900.
  6. 11,010 workers were made redundant in 2012, up from 9,990 in 20112. Nonetheless, this was still less than the highs of 23,430 and 16,880 experienced during the last recession in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
  7. Based on CPF records, nearly three in five (57%) residents laid off in the third quarter of 2012 secured employment by December 2012. This rate of re-entry into employment within six months of redundancy rose from the 52% experienced by the previous cohort (laid off in the second quarter) in September 2012.
  8. The seasonally adjusted vacancies decreased over the quarter by 8.7% in December 2012, after increasing by 13% in September 2012. The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons was 110 job openings for every 100 job seekers in December 2012, down from 125 in September 2012.

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

1The preliminary figures of employment, unemployment and redundancy in this report were published in the Employment Situation 4th Quarter Report on 31 Jan 2013.

2Data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees and the public sector.