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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 19 September 2006

Singapore Labour Market Report for 2nd Quarter 2006



Job Creation Hits Record High in First Half of 2006

With sustained economic growth, employment grew by a healthy 36,400 in Q2 2006, higher than the gains of 31,700 in the same quarter last year, but lower than 45,000 in Q1 2006.
In the first six months of 2006, employment rose by a record high of 81,500, about two-thirds more than the 49,500 in the same period of 2005.
All major sectors expanded their workforce in Q2 2006. As with previous quarters, the bulk of the employment gains came from the services sector (24,400), followed by manufacturing (8,400) and construction (3,500).
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% (overall) and 3.6% (resident 1 ) in Jun 20062 . This is down significantly from 3.4% (overall) and 4.5% (resident) a year ago, but has edged up from 2.6% (overall) and 3.4% (resident) in Mar 2006, driven by an increase in labour supply3.
Some 16,600 or 20% of the resident job seekers were unemployed for 25 weeks or more in Jun 2006, lower than the 27,000 or 28% a year ago.
The long-term unemployment rate fell sharply from 1.5% in Jun 2005 to 0.9% in Jun 2006, the lowest in five years for the corresponding period.
Reflecting the strength in manpower demand, private sector job openings numbered 27,5004 in Jun 2006, the highest since Sep 2000. This is a significant increase of 30% over Q1 2006 and 43% over Q2 2005. All major sectors and broad occupational groups experienced more openings.
In summary, the labour market continued to benefit from the sustained growth in the Singapore economy.
Employment creation in the first half of this year was a record high, lifting prospects for even the long-term unemployed. Forward-looking indicators point to continued optimism in the employment outlook.
For More Information
The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower¨s website at

1 Refers to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

2 These figures are revised downwards from the preliminary estimates of 2.9% (overall) and 3.8% (resident).

3 The resident labour supply is estimated to have risen by 64,100 in the first half of 2006, compared with 49,600 in the first half of 2005. For the same period from 2001 to 2004, the average annual increase was only 15,500.

Source: Press Release 15 Sep 2006

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