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Employment Situation, First Quarter 2015

Unemployment continues to fall in tight job market


  1. The unemployment rate remained low and trended down over the past four quarters as the labour market remained tight. There were fewer layoffs across major industries, and lower unemployment for citizens and residents in the first quarter of 2015. Employment continued to grow, though at a slower pace than the seasonal high at the end of last year. These are the key preliminary findings from the “Employment Situation, First Quarter 2015” report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.

    Main Findings

  2. Preliminary estimates showed that the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped from 1.9% in December 2014 to 1.8% in March 2015. Similarly, the unemployment rate fell over the quarter for residents from 2.7% to 2.5%, and for citizens from 2.7% to 2.6%.

    Employment growth
  3. Employment in March 2015 grew by 2.9%. This brought the total number of persons in employment to 3,624,200. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, overall employment growth in the first quarter of 2015 moderated from the seasonally high increase in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  4. While employment growth has slowed, the labour market remains tight and vacancies continue to outnumber jobseekers. This is also evident from the low and continued downward trend of the unemployment rate. This may be reflective of the anticipated slowing of the local labour supply going forward.

  5. Layoffs declined in the first quarter of 2015, after rising in the preceding quarter. Some 3,500 workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 2015, fewer than in the preceding quarter (3,910), but slightly higher than the first quarter of 2014 (3,110).

    For More Information
  6. The “Employment Situation, First Quarter 2015” report is available on the MOM's Statistics and Publications webpage. More comprehensive labour market data will be released in the “Labour Market Report, First Quarter 2015” on 15 June 2015.