When it comes to the employment rate in Singapore, everyone hoped that 2017 will be better than the previous year. Unfortunately, by March, 2017, the situation was almost unchanged in comparison with the last year. In fact, unemployment in Singapore was even slightly higher at the start of this year, due to the fact that the trends started to go up in the last months of the year that just passed. Why did this happen? People in need of a job apparently needed more time than usual to get employed, mostly because in the construction and manufacturing domains the Work Permit Holders started to decline. Still, the new year did not bring just bad news. There were some improvements in the ratio between job vacancies and unemployed persons, which is hopeful considering that this ratio was in decline for seven quarters in a row.
Concerning the number of workers that were laid off in the first part of 2017, statistics show that their number is smaller than in the same period of 2016. More precisely, only 4000 people became jobless in the first quarter of 2017, in comparison with 2016, when 5440 people lost their jobs, and 2015, when 4710 went through the same though period. Still, we shouldn’t get our hopes too high because the improvement is not that significant. Tables can turn at any moment in current conditions, due to the small differences. Also, since the third quarter of 2014, the recruitment rate started to follow a downward spiral. There were slight improvements in the last quarter of 2016, when the trend in this sector went up a little, just to drop with 2.1% in the first quarter of 2017. What about resignation rate? There aren’t any changes that are worth mentioning here, as this rate kept a steady level, at 1.8%, since the start of 2016.
By March 2017, 74,400 of Singapore’s residents had no job. From this number, 67,100 were citizens of Singapore. If we are to look at these residents, taking into account their age and education groups, unemployment was higher in 2017 than in 2016 in all age and education groups. The age groups that had the biggest number of unemployed people, which also recorded the most significant increases this year, are the residents below 30 years old and 50 and over years old. Even the ones that gained diplomas and professional qualifications suffered from difficulties in finding a proper job or finding a job at all, as the unemployment rate increased in this particular group as well, from 2.3% to 3.5%.
Still, there are some sectors in which employment enjoyed a slight increase this year. Community, social, and personal services sector had 6,700 new employees. The financial and insurance services earned 3,300 more employees and the administrative and support services gained as well 1,500 more employees this year. Unfortunately, these increases where felt in a negative manner in other sectors, where a decline in employment was felt, such as the retail trade sector, which lost 2,700 employees in 2017. Things are far from being ideal when it comes to the employment rate of Singapore, so we can only hope that the future will bring some significant improvements.
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