Number of jobseekers outnumber vacancies available, Ministry of Manpower reports

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The Ministry of Manpower in releasing its Labour Market Report for the third quarter of this year said that based on seasonally adjusted figures, the number of jobseekers continued to outnumber the vacancies available, with every 100 jobseekers vying for 91 openings at the end of the third quarter, down from 93 vacancies at the end of the second quarter.

It added that while the unemployment rate remained broadly stable among residents in the third quarter of 2016, the resident long-term unemployment rate rose from a year ago, with the increase broad-based across age and qualifications.

Total employment contracted by 2,700 in the third quarter of 2016, following slower growth in the past two quarters. This was the first decline since the first quarter of 2015. The decline was primarily due to contractions in Manufacturing and Construction, affecting mainly Work Permit Holders. Over the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest such growth since 2009 (100).

In the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were laid off, higher than the same period in 2015 (10,220) and the highest since 2009 (21,210). However, re-entry rates have risen. More residents (49%) made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 secured re-employment by September 2016, an increase from the previous quarter (45%), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59%).

After declining for six consecutive quarters, the number of seasonally adjusted job vacancies rose slightly from 49,400 in June 2016 to 50,800 in September 2016. However, the seasonally-adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipped to 0.91 in September 2016, from 0.93 in June 2016.

The Ministry said that along with efforts to transform Singapore’s industries to create jobs for Singaporeans, the tripartite partners will continue to step up help for workers affected by the economic situation to seize new job opportunities through SkillsFuture and Adapt & Grow initiatives amid this ongoing economic transition.