Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose to 3.4 per cent in August, climbing past the high of 3.3 per cent recorded in September 2009 during the global financial crisis. But August’s rate is lower than the highest overall unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent, recorded in September 2003 during the SARS outbreak.
The latest jobs situation report from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed the overall unemployment rate for August climbed 0.4 percentage points from July. MOM said it has started to track the unemployment rate on a monthly basis to “monitor the labour situation more closely”. Unemployment rates are usually released on a quarterly basis.
The citizen unemployment rate rose to 4.6 per cent in August, up by 0.3 percentage points from July. It is lower than the 4.9 per cent recorded in September 2009. The resident unemployment rate – of citizens and permanent residents – rose to 4.5 per cent in August from 4.1 per cent in July, but remained lower than the 4.9 per cent recorded in September 2009.
Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said, despite the “slight uptick” in the unemployment rate, jobs are still available in this same period. “We also saw the ability to pull together more opportunities. And the vast majority of these opportunities that have been pulled together remain, still, in terms of jobs. And of the 60,000 or so long-term jobs available, a large part of it is still coming from the private sector.”
MOM said about 33,100 job seekers have been placed into jobs, traineeships and training opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package as of end-August. This is an increase of 9,100 from the 24,000 job seekers placed as of end-July. Placements into long-term jobs have risen to 45 per cent, up from 42 per cent as of end-July. Describing the growth in the number of job placements filled as “very encouraging”, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said: “It is good progress. We’re not just making progress in terms of pulling together the opportunities, there’s also very good progress in getting people placed. And I think being placed into jobs is something that is of high priority.”