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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 1 November 2007

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Employment situation in 3rd Quarter 2007



Unemployment rate dropped to pre-Asian crisis level amid continued strong employment creation

Employment continued to grow strongly as the economy maintained its rapid expansion. Preliminary estimates show that employment grew by 57,600 in the third quarter of 2007.
This is substantially higher than the increase of 43,000 in the same quarter last year but lower than the record gains of 64,400 in the previous quarter.
This brings the total employment gains for the first three quarters of 2007 to 171,500, which is close to the 176,000 for the whole of 2006.
Services continued to lead the employment gains, adding 34,500 workers in the third quarter of 2007. Manufacturing posted gains of 11,800. Driven by the growth in building activities, construction increased its workforce by 10,800, continuing the rapid increase of the previous quarter.

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Preliminary findings show that 1,700 workers were retrenched in the third quarter of 2007. This is lower than the 1,918 retrenched in the previous quarter and the 2,472 retrenched in the same quarter a year ago.
The majority of the workers retrenched were from manufacturing (1,200). Another 500 workers were laid off from the services industries.

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The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate fell to 1.7% in September 2007 from 2.3% in June 2007 as more of the unemployed found jobs in the rapidly growing economy.
Compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point from 2.7% in September 2006. The resident unemployment rate also fell significantly to 2.3% in September 2007 from 3.1% in June 2007 and 3.6% in September 2006.
The prevailing unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade, having improved to around pre-Asian crisis level. The sharp improvement in unemployment rate partly reflected an easing in the increase in resident labour supply over the past two quarters, following rapid gains in residents entering the labour market in 2005 and 20061.

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On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the overall unemployment rate declined from 2.9% in June 2007 to 1.5% in September 2007 when this year’s batch of tertiary graduates who were looking for jobs in the earlier quarter secured employment.
With the tight labour market, the rate is also lower than 2.4% in September 2006. Among the resident labour force, the non-adjusted unemployment rate was 2.1%, also lower than 4.0% in June 2007 and 3.2% in the same period a year ago.
An estimated 40,300 residents were unemployed in June 2007. The seasonally adjusted figure was 45,400.
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 2007.
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 2007 on 14 December 2007.
1 The resident labour supply is estimated to have increased by 14,200 during the two quarters from Apr to Sep 07. This is lower than the average increase of 34,900 during the same period in 2005 to 2006 but more than the average increase of 7,600 in the earlier years of 2001 to 2004.

Source: Press Release 31 Oct 2007

Related Article:

- Employment situation in 2nd Quarter 2007

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