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Labour Market Report Advance Release 1Q 2019


  1. Preliminary indicators suggest that the labour market is holding up, even though there are signs that the economy is facing headwinds in 2019.  Total employment continued to grow, and retrenchments were similar to the previous quarter. Overall and resident unemployment rates held steady while citizen unemployment inched up slightly.

    Main Findings

    Total employment continued to grow in 1Q 2019

  2. Total employment growth (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) in 1Q 2019 (12,000) was lower than 4Q 2018 (14,700) due to seasonal factors1, but higher than 1Q 2018 (400). Growth in 1Q 2019 was mainly in Services sectors such as Community, Social & Personal Services, Administrative & Support Services, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Transportation & Storage. Construction employment increased slightly, after eleven consecutive quarters of decline, while manufacturing continued to shed workers.

    Overall and resident unemployment rates held steady, while citizen unemployment inched up slightly

  3. After inching up in the previous quarter, the seasonally adjusted overall (2.2%) and resident (3.0%) unemployment rates held steady in March 2019.However, citizen unemployment rate inched up slightly (3.1% in December 2018 to 3.2% in March 2019).

    The number of
    retrenchments was similar to the fourth quarter of 2018

  4. The number of retrenchments in 1Q 2019 (2,500) was similar to fourth quarter 2018 (2,510), though slightly above 1Q 2018 (2,320)2.Retrenchments declined over the quarter in Services, increased in Manufacturing and remain unchanged in Construction.


  5. Preliminary indicators suggest that the labour market is holding up, though citizen unemployment rate continued to inch up. Amid signs of external economic headwinds and uncertainty in 2019, and as economic restructuring continues apace, MOM and Workforce Singapore (WSG) will work closely with our tripartite partners to help Singaporeans secure good jobs through the Adapt & Grow Initiative. We also encourage workers to tap on support under the SkillsFuture initiative to upskill and reskill, so as to build career resilience and improve their career mobility.

  6. MOM and WSG will walk with jobseekers who are prepared to explore new opportunities.For career assistance, jobseekers can visit or approach WSG’s Careers Connect or NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (NTUC’s e2i), which offer various programmes and Career Matching Services under the Adapt and Grow initiative.

  7. MOM and WSG also offer support to businesses to hire Singaporeans through the Adapt & Grow Initiative, and to transform and improve job quality through the Lean Enterprise Development Scheme and Capability Transfer Programme.

    For More Information

  8. The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower’s statistics website at


  1. Employment growth in 4Q 2018 was supported by short term hiring for year-end festivities.
  2. Retrenchments were lowest in 1Q 2018 since 1Q 2013 (2,120).