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Labour Market, First Quarter 2014

Unemployment Remained Low and Job Vacancies Rose

13 June 2014

  1. Unemployment remained low, although it edged up slightly in March 2014. Job openings continued to increase and outnumber job seekers. These are the key findings from the “Labour Market, First Quarter 2014” report released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department.

    Main Findings
  2. The overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 1.8% in December 2013 to 2.0% in March 2014. Similar increases were observed for residents from 2.7% to 2.9% and citizens from 2.8% to 3.0%. This could reflect increased job search activity as more residents, especially the less educated, were encouraged to enter the labour force, given more job openings and an increase in wages, with the tightening of foreign manpower controls. Overall, unemployment rates were still low and comparable to earlier quarters.
  3. The long-term unemployment rate stayed low at 0.6% in March 2014. There were 12,900 residents who had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in March 2014, down from 13,700 in March 2013.
  4. Total employment grew by 28,300 in the first quarter of 2014, lower than the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the last quarter of 2013 but broadly comparable to the 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013. This brought total employment to 3,522,200 in March 2014, which was 4.0% higher than a year ago. This year-on-year rate of growth in total employment is similar to the 4.1% growth a quarter ago.
  5. Fewer workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 2014 (3,110) than in the preceding quarter (3,660), though this was higher than in the first quarter of 2013 (2,120).
  6. Job openings continued to increase. The seasonally adjusted job vacancies rose for the third consecutive quarter, though the rate of increase over the quarter moderated to 3.0% in March 2014 from 9.2% in December 2013 and 5.8% in September 2013. Job openings continued to outnumber job seekers, though the ratio has eased. The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons declined from 1.43 in December 2013 to 1.33 in March 2014.

    For More Information
  7. The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower’s  Statistics and Publications webpage.