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Unemployment Remains Low, Even As Employment Creation Slowed


30 April 2013

  1. Unemployment remained low, even as employment creation slowed in the first quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, layoffs declined, after rising in the preceding two quarters. These are the key preliminary findings from the "Employment Situation, First Quarter 2013" report released by the Ministry of Manpower's Research and Statistics Department.

    Main Findings
  2. Preliminary estimates showed that the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate edged up to 1.9% in March 2013 from 1.8% in December 2012. Similarly, the unemployment rate for residents rose to 2.9% from 2.7%, while the citizen unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.9%. Even with the increase, the rates remain low.
  3. Amid continued weakness in the economy and the foreign worker tightening measures, employment creation has slowed. Total employment growth moderated to 20,800 in the first quarter of 2013, with total employment in March 2013 growing by 3.8% from a year ago. The growth in the first quarter this year was below the seasonally high gain of 44,000 in the last quarter of 2012, and is the lowest first quarter gain post-2009 (2010: 36,500; 2011: 28,300; 2012: 27,200).
  4. Layoffs have declined, after rising in the previous two quarters. An estimated 2,000 workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 20131. This was lower than the 3,350 workers affected in the preceding quarter and 2,600 in the first quarter of 2012.

    For More Information
  5. The "Employment Situation, First Quarter 2013" report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower's website. The updated labour market data for Q1, 2013 will be released in the "Labour Market Report, First Quarter 2013" on 15 June 2013.

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