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Singapore Employment Situation - 3rd Quarter 2004

Source: www.mom.gov.sg 

Employment

Recovery in the job market strengthened in the third quarter 2004, supported by the robust economic growth in the first half of this year.

Preliminary estimates show that employment increased by 16,600, the strongest quarterly gain in three and half years. This brings the total number of persons employed to 2,176,400 as at September 2004, up 41,200 from the start of the year.

Employment in the goods-producing industries expanded by 7,200. This came on the back of accelerated gains of 8,800 in manufacturing employment, that was surpassed only in the third quarter 2000. The gains were partially offset by the continued cutback in construction employment (-1,800), but at a slower pace than before.

The services-producing industries added 9,400 workers, continuing the increase for the fifth consecutive quarter. This is higher than the gains in the preceding (8,000) and the same quarter last year (3,000).

Retrenchment

Retrenchment has eased further. Preliminary findings from a survey of private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees show that 1,700 workers were retrenched in the third quarter of 2004, a reduction of 17% from the previous period. This marks the fifth consecutive quarterly decline, amid an improving job market.

The goods-producing industries accounted for 800 or 47% of the workers retrenched in the quarter. The services-producing industries made up the other 900 or 53% of the workers laid off.

Unemployment

The strong employment creation has led to a significant decline in unemployment. Preliminary estimates show that the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in September 2004 from 4.5% three months back.

Among the resident1 labour force, the rate was 3.9% in September compared with 5.0% in June. This improvement has brought the unemployment rate to around the level in 1999 when the economy recovered from the Asian crisis. However, it still exceeds the pre-crisis low of around 2%.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the rate dropped from a high of 5.3% in June 2004 when this year's graduates joined the pool of job seekers, to a low of 3.1% in September 2004 when more of the graduates have secured employment.

The seasonal decline also resulted from fewer students looking for temporary jobs as they return to school after the mid-year vacation.

Among the resident labour force, the non-adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5%. An estimated 62,200 residents were unemployed in September 2004. The seasonally adjusted figure was 69,700.

The concepts, definitions and sources of the data are contained in the attached Explanatory Notes. The preliminary data estimates are available online at the Ministry of Manpower’s website: mom.gov.sg/mrsd/publication.  A more detailed breakdown of the preliminary estimates will be released in mid- November 2004 in the Economic Survey of Singapore.

1 Comprises Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents

Charts.....

Source: Ministry of Manpower Press Release 1 Nov 2004

Employment Situation for Third Quarter 2004 was previously known as Preliminary Employment, Unemployment and Retrenchment estimates)

 

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Wednesday
3 November 2004