Unemployment rate has crept up to a seven-year high: MOM


The resident unemployment rate has crept up to a seven-year high for June periods, according to the 2017 advance labour force report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.

The overall unemployment rate this year, which has risen from 3 per cent in June 2016 to 3.1 per cent in June this year, mirrors the unemployment rate in 2007 and 2010.

The report that covers local labour market conditions particularly noted a decline in the employment rate for residents between the ages of 15 and 24. The Ministry claimed that this was due to the “higher propensity of youths to postpone entry into the labour force” since more choose to pursue further education.

This will continue to “exert downward pressure on the overall employment rate in the years ahead,” MOM asserted.

Meanwhile, the employment rate for residents between the ages of 25 to 64 has climbed from 80.3 per cent in June last year to 80.7 per cent in June this year.

MOM also claimed that the dip in the labour force participation rate (LFPR) for residents aged 15 and above from 68 per cent last year to 67.7 per cent this year did not adversely affect the number of discouraged workers here.

The report further revealed that the number of discouraged workers – that is, workers outside the labour force who do not believe they will be successful in finding a job – has in fact declined “from 9,900 in June 2016 to 9,500 in June 2017, and stayed low at 0.4 per cent of the resident labour force since June 2013.”

The long-term unemployment rate for PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) has also dipped from 0.9 per cent last year, to 0.7 per cent last year. MOM suggests that this could be attributed to more such workers choosing to re-skill or switch careers “with Government support through SkillsFuture and the Adapt & Grow initiative.”

Curiously, the report also revealed that despite the overall decline in employment, real median monthly income is climbing at a faster pace compared to 2016. This is due to an improvement in economic conditions, according to the Ministry.

MOM disclosed that the real income growth for the median and 20th percentile were significantly faster from June 2012 to June 2017, compared to the 5 years before this period. The nominal median monthly income (including employer CPF contributions) of full-time employed residents rose by 3.7 per cent post inflation, which is higher than 3.3 per cent in June 2017.

Despite this, the MOM has acknowledged that the local workforce growth is set to slow further. It added:

“For real income growth to be sustained, firms will have to continue to transform and grow to become more productive. In a manpower-lean environment, it is also important for firms to adopt progressive human capital practices.”

The full report is expected to be released on 26 Jan next year.


  1. The median is the halfway point between the minimum and the maximum value. What this means is that the rich are getting richer while more people become unemployed (and the unemployed have no income so they do not even figure in the median).

  2. It is scary to be leaving school or graduating, or complete NS. The prospect of no jobs. Used to be poly grads can find jobs. I am disgusted with the disparity – job titles are created for some. That a great CEO job is gotten by volunteering for it. He just have to ask for it.

  3. Unemployment up means up. Dun talk abt increase in medium income when pple are losing their jobs. Focus on the problem and not try to make things look good when they are actually not. MOM should focus on the unemployment issue and not meddle with the increase in income. If you really want to know why the medium income increase then tune in to the Parliament session. The Parliament is a place whereby 83 whites earns more than 83% of the population. How to not increase medium income?!!

  4. somebody taking cleaner n security as reporting figure with increment of $10-20 also included n taken as great gov achievement and economic robust performance so must increase GST.

  5. Obviously, PM Lee, his Ministers & friends are getting even more multi-million Dignity thanks to everyone working harder, faster, cheaper & contributing CPF to guarantee this.

  6. Besides fake news, falsifications seem to be happening everywhere too officially or not. More rubbish are going into the dragon’s lifeline of Singapore River. The rot starts from the bottom according to the official version…….

  7. PMET all taken up by Foreigners. FW and FT.

    Part time jobs no need contribution. CPF

    So …. now we see increasing. … jobless….. Our median salary should be base on public housing.

    15~20 yrs ago. 4 room flats is ard 64k salary $2.5k. Husband alone can sustain the mortgage loan.

    But now our public housing BTO is $300K ~$450k.

    If your current salary is still $2.5k and your BTO is $350K.
    Ratio proportion … your salary of $2.5k is just $800 ~$900 with BTO flats of today. $300k~$450k

    Our low salary is not designed for local young citizens.

    We are paving the salary for our neighbouring countries.. ….
    { Currency exchange rate is Sg1 =$3MR or $1=15peso or $1=5 RMB Or $1=450k rupiah. …etc }

    These are cheap Fast and Good in camouflaging ownself favour ownself system but not on actual ground.

    So .. the problems will spiral upwards( more jobless ) …. if we continue to swallow. W/o feedback .

    Are you a robot..?

  8. But LSS and LHL said Singaporeans very happy and unemployment are rates are low. Indeed they are still in dreaming lands. Many have gone to drive PHVs because LHL open doors to foreigners to steal lunches.

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