Ministry figures released for employment status covering First Quarter of year.

Labour Market remains steady.

In Singapore The Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Advance Release, First Quarter 2019 has been released and preliminary indicators suggest that the labour market maintained its position despite the challenges and uncertainty of the time. The Ministry reports that overall, most key labour market indicators stayed on trend. Employment grew, retrenchments remained low, and resident unemployment rates held steady, although the citizen unemployment rate edged up modestly.

Total employment (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) continued to grow in the quarter (12,000), a healthy increase considering that growth was significantly higher than 1Q 2018 (400), and lower than 4Q 2018 (14,700) because of seasonal factors. Employment growth mainly occurred in services sectors such as Community, Social & Personal Services, Administrative & Support Services, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Transportation & Storage. Construction registered its first increase in employment, albeit slight, after eleven consecutive quarters of decline. Manufacturing continued to shed workers.

The overall (2.2 per cent) and resident (3.0 per cent) unemployment rates held steady in March 2019 after rising in the previous quarter. However, the citizen unemployment rate continued to inch up (from 3.1 per cent in December 2018 to 3.2 per cent in March 2019).

Based on preliminary estimates, the number of retrenchments remained low in 1Q 2019 (2,500), similar to the preceding quarter (2,510), and slightly above the multi-quarter low in 1Q 2018 (2,320). Trends were mixed across industries. Retrenchments declined over the quarter in Services, increased in Manufacturing and remained unchanged in Construction.

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