Singapore—Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that the rate of unemployment for Singapore’s citizens and permanent residents (PRs) accelerated faster in August than in July. She also warned that it may follow that the unemployment rate will grow even more swiftly in the months to come.
She said, “We cannot tell at this point in time whether, in the coming months, the unemployment rate will (rise) at a faster rate or will it stay about the same, but nonetheless, we are keeping a very close watch.”
The latest figures from the weekly job situation report from the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) revealed that the unemployment rate for Singapore’s citizens and PRs rose by 0.4 percentage points in August to 4.5 per cent.
This is the highest rate it has been since September 2009, when it was at 4.9 per cent after the global financial crisis.
In July, the unemployment rate for citizens and PRs increased by 0.3 percentage points to 4.1 per cent.
Overall, the country’s total unemployment rate (including foreigners) was at 3.4 per cent in August, showing an increase from its rate of three per cent in July.
In September 2009, it had stood at 4.8 per cent.
These remarks were made by the Manpower Minister during stout of construction firm Samwoh Corporation’s laboratory facilities, which she attended with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
As for Singapore’s citizens alone, the jobless rate grew from 4.3 per cent to 4.6 per cent from July to August. This is the highest rate of unemployment for the country’s citizens since September 2009, when it was at 4.9 per cent.
Asked to comment on the increase in the resident unemployment rate, DPM Heng said that the problem is global, but that support systems are in place.
“At the moment, what we are faced with is a very sharp cyclical shock, and not just in Singapore but around the entire world. The Jobs Support Scheme and all the various support schemes take us into March next year. So there will be some degree of structural unemployment that ensues, but a lot of it now is also cyclical shock of a very deep nature.”
Ms Teo also touched on what needs to be done before the Jobs Support Scheme ends next March. “What we can do, however, is to make sure that even the opportunities that are currently available, they continue to be filled as quickly as possible.”
In a Facebook post on October 7, the Manpower Minister wrote about the total number of jobs that have been made available.
“In this week’s Jobs Situation Report (8th Edition), we provided an update on the overall opportunities and placements under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. As at end August, about 117,000 opportunities have been made available – an increase of 25,500 from end July.
Majority are jobs, with the private sector offering more long-term jobs than the public sector. Over 33,000 jobseekers have been placed, an increase of 9,000 compared to a month ago. This is good progress. However, we must press on with efforts to match more jobseekers to these opportunities, as there remains a significant number of unfilled vacancies.”
OVER 33,000 JOBSEEKERS PLACED INTO OPPORTUNITIES UNDER SGUNITED JOBS AND SKILLS PACKAGE In this week’s Jobs Situation…