[xml/sgml-pkgs] Spore Unemployment Rate at 14-Year Low

Employment News noreply at newsky1.com
Sun Feb 5 07:17:20 UTC 2012

 		February 2012 


	February 2012 

	Singapore - The unemployment rate in Singapore hit a 14-year low in
2011 of 2%. 

	According to the Ministry of Manpower, as of December 2011, 54,200
residents, including 48,300 Singaporeans were unemployed. There were
also 36,300 jobs added in the last quarter of 2011, the most since Q1
2011, and 121,300 jobs created in the whole of last year. The overall
unemployment rate was 2.9% for residents and 3% for Singaporeans. 

	"We continuing to see strong job creation in banking, finance and
accounting, office and administration, IT, and technical and
engineering jobs," Lynne Ng, regional director at recruitment firm
Adecco in Southeast Asia, said. 

	As most Singaporeans were already employed at the time of the job
creations, many of the new positions went to foreign talent. MOM added
a record 78% of local between the ages of 25 and 64 were employed last
year, slightly above the previous high of 77.1% in 2010. 

	However, the number of workers laid off in Q4 2011 rose sharply to
3,600, significantly higher than the 1.960 recorded in the previous
quarter, and the highest recorded since the crisis of 2009. 

	"The tightness in the job market has not dissipated, even as economic
growth slows. In our view, this reflects slower resident population
growth, an already high labour force participation rate, a more
stringent foreign labour policy, and continued unmet demand for
service, support and administrative staff following recent large
increases in capacity in key services industries," Leong Wai Ho,
Barclays Capital economist, said. 

	The percentage of foreigners also rose by almost 85,000 to 1.2
million in 2011, with about 5,000 of them being domestic workers. At
the end of 2011, foreigners accounted for 37.1% of the local working
population, up from 35.8% in 2010. Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State
for Manpower, said a majority of that demand came from the
construction sector. 

	He added it is "an almost six-fold increase, as we increased the pace
of public infrastructure projects, in particular for housing and
transport". But he said the government will continue to step up
efforts to ensure Singaporeans remain at the core of the workforce, by
training them in new skills or help them in finding new employment

	He also said resources have been set aside "to help companies
continue with the necessary but understandably painful restructuring
and consolidation for the longer term". 

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