SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) noted on Thursday  (Dec 14) the expansion of the labour market in the third quarter of 2023, with total employment having gone up for eight straight quarters. Employment has increased for residents and non-residents, for a total of 23,600. For residents, the increase has been seen the most in growth sectors.

MOM also noted that job vacancies fell from 87,900 in June to 78,400 in September. The ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons was 1.58. However, there were more retrenchments in the third quarter (4,110) than in the second quarter (3,200), which MOM attributed to more companies undergoing reorganisation, restructuring, or business and cost concerns.

Nevertheless, the re-entry of retrenched residents into a new job increased from 59.4 per cent in the second quarter to 65.3 per cent in the third quarter.

And while unemployment rates, taken as a whole, stayed low, the resident long-term unemployment rate rose from 0.5 per cent in June to 0.7 per cent in September. This “bears close monitoring,” MOM said.

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“Economic headwinds will continue to weigh on the labour market going forward. The Government and tripartite partners will continue to support employers and workers to press on with business transformation and upskilling,” the ministry added.

MOM also noted that while residents’ employment had decreased by 1,200 in the second quarter, it went up this quarter by 2,800. Employment growth was observed in the following sectors: Health & Social Services, Financial & Insurance Services, and Professional Services.

Non-resident employment grew by 20,800, mainly in Construction, Administrative & Support Services, and Food & Beverage Services. This is the smallest growth in non-resident employment since the fourth quarter of 2021. Moreover, the construction sector has slowed growth since the third quarter of 2022.

The overall unemployment rate in October was 1.9 per cent. For residents, it was 2.7 per cent, while for citizens, it was 2.9 per cent. Retrenchments went up from 3,200 to 4,110 from the year’s second to third quarters. Most of the retrenchments took place in the wholesale trade industry, which grew from 480 to

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“The Government encourages employers and workers to make full use of available programmes to remain competitive and resilient amidst economic uncertainty. We encourage employers to press on with business transformation and equip their workers for expanded or redesigned job roles. Workers are encouraged to continue to upskill and be open to new opportunities,” MOM added.

Read also: Employment in Singapore Grows for 8th Quarter Despite Economic Challenges /TISG