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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 10 Nov 2008

Employment Situation in Third Quarter 2008


Employment Situation in Third Quarter 2008

Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by 57,800 in the third quarter this year. This was lower than the gains of 71,400 in the preceding quarter and 58,600 in the third quarter of 2007.
With a strong pipeline of building projects, construction employment grew strongly by 16,400 in the third quarter of 2008, but lower than the record 22,400 gains in the previous quarter.
Amid weaker external demand, employment in manufacturing grew by 4,900, half the increase in the previous quarter. Services broadly held steady, adding 36,200 workers, lower than the gains of 38,300 in the previous quarter but higher than 34,100 in the third quarter of 2007.
Preliminary estimates show that 2,000 workers were retrenched in the third quarter of 2008, up from 1,798 in the previous quarter and 1,827 in the third quarter of 2007.
Most of the retrenched workers came from manufacturing which laid off 1,500 workers, mainly from the electronics industry. Another 500 workers were laid off from the services industries.
After rising for two consecutive quarters, the overall unemployment rate remained at a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in September 2008, unchanged from June 2008 but higher than 1.7% in September 2007. Among residents, the unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.3% in September 2008 from 3.1% in June 2008 and 2.4% a year ago, amid a rise in resident labour supply.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the overall unemployment rate declined from 2.8% in June 2008 to 1.9% in September 2008, as students who looked for work during the mid-year school vacation returned to school and this year's batch of tertiary graduates who looked for jobs in the earlier quarter started to secure employment.
Among the resident labour force, the non-adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% in September 2008, also lower than 4.0% in the previous quarter. An estimated 56,000 residents were unemployed in September 2008. The seasonally adjusted figure was 65,400.
More Information
Information on data sources and coverage, as well as definitions of key concepts used in the report is in the attached Explanatory Notes. The preliminary data estimates are available online at the Ministry of Manpower's website. A more detailed breakdown of the preliminary estimates will be released in the Economic Survey of Singapore, Third Quarter 2008.
The above is a statistical release of the Manpower Research and Statistics Department of the Ministry.
Upcoming Publications
The Ministry's Manpower Research and Statistics Department will be releasing the report on the Labour Market, Third Quarter 2008 on 15 December 2008.
More..... (Tables)

Source: Press release 31 Oct 2008

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