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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 1 Feb 2006

Singapore Employment Situation in 4th Quarter 2005



More people have secured employment, bolstered by the favourable economic conditions.
Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by a strong 110,800 in 2005, exceeding the previous year¨s gains of 71,400. This brings the total number of persons employed to a new high of 2,317,400 as at December 2005.
The growth was achieved on the back of robust quarterly gains, peaking at 32,800 in the fourth quarter of 2005.
All major sectors registered employment growth. The services-producing industries added 24,100 workers in the quarter, supported by seasonal hirings for the year-end festivities. This brings the employment gains in services for the whole of 2005 to 71,800, or about two-thirds of the total employment gains for the year.
Manufacturing employment rose by 6,500 in the last quarter of 2005, bringing the total gains in the sector to 29,500 in the year.
Even the construction sector ended the year with 8,500 more workers than at the start. This marked a turnaround from the employment losses it had generally experienced since 1998.
Preliminary findings from a survey of private sector establishments with at least 25 employees show that 3,100 workers were retrenched in the fourth quarter of 2005. This brings the total retrenchment for the whole of 2005 to 10,200, comparable to that in 2004, but a marked decline from 16,400 in 2003.
The manufacturing sector made up two-thirds of the workers laid off in 2005. Another 31% was contributed by services and 3% by construction.
With the robust employment creation, unemployment has fallen.
The year ended with a seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate of 2.5% in December 2005, which is significantly lower than 3.0% in the same period a year ago, and 3.3% in September 2005.
Among the resident1 labour force, the rate was 3.3%, also down from 4.0% in December 2004 and 4.4% in September 2005. This is the lowest rate recorded in over 4 years.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the overall unemployment rate was 2.6% in December 2005.
Despite the entry of students seeking vacation jobs and school leavers into the labour market, the rate has dropped from 2.9% in September 2005.
Among the resident labour force, the non-adjusted unemployment rate was 3.4%. An estimated 64,200 residents were unemployed in December 2005. The seasonally adjusted figure was 60,700.
For information on data sources and coverage, as well as definitions of key concepts used in the report, please refer to the attached Explanatory Notes.
The preliminary data estimates are available on the Ministry of Manpower¨s website at  A more detailed breakdown of the preliminary estimates will be released in the Economic Survey of Singapore, 2005.
More..... (Tables/Charts)
1 Comprises Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents

Source: Press Release 1 Feb 2006

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