According to preliminary data gathered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the third quarter of 2019, the number of retrenchments and the unemployment rate has continued to rise.
Asserting that the data paints a “mixed picture,” the MOM said today (24 Oct) that the number of retrenchments in the third quarter of 2019 came in at 2,900, which is notably higher than the 2,320 retrenchments that were recorded in the preceding quarter.
The Government ministry, however, said that the current number of retrenchments is comparable to the number from the third quarter in 2018 (2,860). This quarter’s retrenchments affected workers in the manufacturing, construction and services sector.
Similarly, the unemployment rate also went up. Overall, the unemployment rate went up from 2.2 per cent to 2.3 per cent while the unemployment rate for Singapore residents (including permanent residents) went up from 3.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent.
The unemployment rate for Singapore citizens went from 3.2 per cent in the last quarter to 3.3 per cent. MOM said: “Employment continued to grow and there were still job vacancies available. However, unemployment rates edged up. This points to possible mismatches in the labour market.”
While the unemployment rate and number of retrenchments have risen, MOM said that total employment (excluding foreign workers) grew by 22,400 this quarter, higher than in the previous quarter (6,200) and a year ago (16,700).
MOM promised that it will work together with Workforce Singapore (WSG) and tripartite partners to closely monitor the labour market situation and that it will “stand ready to step up support for Singaporeans under the Adapt and Grow (A&G) initiative.”
It added: “At the same time, the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation will continue to reach out to retrenched workers to provide them with timely employment support, and engage retrenching companies on responsible retrenchment practices.”
MOM advised employers to offer training to workers with skills gaps and urged jobseekers to be open to re-skilling and applying for jobs they may not be familiar with:
“We urge employers to work with the government to train workers with skills gaps. We also encourage jobseekers to be open to opportunities in other sectors and occupations beyond what they are familiar with.” -/TISG