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Singapore Labour Market - 2nd Quarter 2005



Driven by sustained economic growth, employment creation picked up momentum and job vacancies continued to rise amid a positive business outlook for the second half of this year.
Nevertheless, difficulties faced by the less educated and mature job seekers still remain.
Overall employment grew strongly by 31,700 in the second quarter of 2005, compared with 17,800 in the previous quarter and 10,900 in the same period a year ago.
Both the services and manufacturing sectors registered strong employment gains of 18,400 and 9,300 respectively. Construction employment also rose by 3,400, reaffirming the turnaround observed in the first quarter this year.
In the first half of 2005, overall employment grew spectacularly by 49,500, double the gains of 24,600 over the same period in 2004. This employment creation is the highest in four and a half years
Based on preliminary estimates from the General Household Survey conducted by the Department of Statistics, the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate was 3.4% in June 2005.
Among the resident1 labour force, the unemployment rate was 4.5%. These rates are lower than a revised 3.6% (overall) and 4.7% (resident) in the same period a year ago, but are marginally higher than the 3.3% (overall) and 4.4% (resident) in March 20052.
An estimated 97,200 residents were unemployed in June 2005. The seasonally adjusted figure was 78,900.
The improvement in unemployment from a year ago was felt mainly by the better educated and younger job seekers. Among the better educated, even mature persons experienced a notable improvement.
However, this was offset by the rise in unemployment for the less educated (i.e. those with below secondary education) across all age groups.
Consequently, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment of mature residents aged 40 and above increased marginally from 5.4% to 5.5%, with the less educated among them experiencing a larger increase from 5.9% to 6.8%. This group (i.e. below secondary and aged 40 and above) accounted for one in four or 24,900 of the local job seekers in June 2005.
A survey of private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees revealed that 2,116 workers were retrenched in the second quarter this year. This is 2.4% lower than the previous quarter, but 3.0% higher compared to the second quarter of 2004.
Private sector job openings numbered 19,2003 in June 2005. This is an increase of 9.9% over the quarter and 25% over the year.
Following the improvement, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons4 rose from 41 in March 2005 to 46p job openings for every 100 job seekers in June 2005. This is the highest reached in close to four years but is still substantially below the last peak in September 2000 when there were 135 openings for every 100 job seekers.
For More Information
The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower¡¯s website at
More..... (Charts)

1 Refers to Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents.

2 The unemployment data obtained from the Labour Force Survey have been revised to align with the methodology used in the General Household Survey so as to improve the accuracy and comparability of the data.

3 Data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees.

4 Following the revision in unemployment data from the Labour Force Survey, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancy to unemployed persons has also been revised.

p preliminary

Source: Press Release 12 Sep 2005


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15 September 2005