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Singapore – Employment up but services sector slows

17 December 2012

The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore said that employment remained high in the third quarter of the year despite an increase in lay-offs. Job openings rose in the three months to September and unemployment remained low, the Ministry reported on Friday.

Unemployment dipped marginally to 1.9% in September 2012 from 2.0% a quarter ago.

Vacancies rose a seasonally-adjusted +13% over the quarter to 51,500 in September 2012, following declines seen in the previous two quarters. In the quarter, there were 125 job openings per 100 job seekers.

Total employment grew by 26,200 in the third quarter, boosted by public infrastructure projects, and construction continued to register high increases in employment. But job growth in the services sector and manufacturing slowed in the period.

“The key concern is the services sector; it has contracted quite significantly and we must monitor this very closely. Certain sectors have shown some growth. Real estate has shown growth in employment and that is because of the buoyancy in the construction sector. Public service and civil service has shown some employment growth,” said Professor Shandre Thangavelu from the Department of Economics at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Layoffs rose after declining in the preceding two quarters. 2,850 workers were made redundant in the third quarter of 2012, mainly driven by the manufacturing and electronics sector. 

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