The Ministry of Manpower revealed today that there were more retrenchments in the second quarter of 2018, with the number of retrenchments between April and June this year rising to 3,030 from 2,320 in the first quarter. This means that retrenchments in this quarter has gone up by over a hefty 30 per cent.
MOM pointed to business restructuring and reorganisation as the top cause for such retrenchments, in its quarterly labour market report.
The ministry further reported that the Singapore labour market saw higher unemployment rates, with the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rising from 2 per cent in Q1 2018 to 2.1 per cent this last quarter.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among citizens is higher than the rate for residents. The rate among citizens climbed from 3 per cent in Q1 2018 to 3.1 per cent in Q2 2018, while the rate among residents rose from 2.8 per cent in Q1 2018 to 2.9 per cent in Q2 2018.
The seasonally adjusted resident unemployment rate for those who have been left without a job for a longer term also went up from 0.7 per cent in March to 0.8 per cent in June. Long-term unemployed refers to workers who have not been employed for at least 25 weeks.
MOM only published figures on this rate among residents and did not publish what the seasonally adjusted long-term unemployment rate for citizens are.
The ministry explained higher unemployment stats by saying that the higher unemployment is primarily caused “as more people entered the labour force to look for work on the back of continued expansion in economic activities”.
MOM, however, claims that the unemployment rate and the number of retrenchments in Q2 2018 is not as bad as the same period in 2017. The ministry also claimed that the six-month re-entry rates for retrenched workers has edged up from 61 per cent in the last quarter to 64.3 percent in Q2.
MOM further said that employment growth was recorded and that more job vacancies available. The report showed that total employment in Q2 2018 grew by 6,500, from 3,700 in Q1, and that the number of seasonally adjusted job vacancies is at a three-year high of 56,700 in June this year.
MOM stated that there were about 108 job vacancies per 100 job seekers this last quarter since the number of job vacancies is greater than the number of those who remain unemployed.