Singapore Unemployment Rate Steady at 1.8% in Q4 2013

Preliminary estimates showed that in the fourth quarter of 2013, Singapore's overall jobless rate was unchanged at 1.8 percent, the same rate recorded in the previous quarter. Unemployment for citizens was also steady at 2.8 percent. The resident unemployment rate edged up slightly from 2.6 percent in Q3 2013 to 2.7 percent in Q4 2013.

Supported by hirings for year-end festivities, employment growth was higher in the fourth quarter of 2013 (39,200) than in the previous quarter (33,100), but lower than in the fourth quarter last year (44,000).

For the whole of 2013, total employment is estimated to have increased by 134,900 over the year, higher than the 129,100 in 2012. Higher employment growth over the year was mainly driven by locals, as the pace of growth in the foreign workforce continued to slow amid tightened foreign manpower measures. In Q4 2013, locals accounted for 66.2 percent of persons employed in Singapore (excluding foreign domestic workers), with foreigners forming 33.8 percent.

3,500 workers were laid off in the fourth quarter of 2013, higher than the 2,710 workers made redundant in the preceding quarter, though this was lower than 6,000 to 12,800 workers laid off per quarter during the last recession in 2008/09. For the full year 2013, 11,400 workers were laid off, slightly higher than 2012 (11,010).

Income growth strengthened in 2013, amid the tight labour market. The nominal median monthly income from work of full-time employed citizens (including employer CPF contributions) increased over the year by 7.1 percent to $3,480 in June 2013, up from gains of 5.8 percent in the preceding year. As inflation eased, the growth in real median income, deflated by Consumer Price Index, accelerated from 1.2 percent in 2012 to 4.6 percent in 2013.

Singapore Unemployment Rate Steady at 1.8% in Q4 2013

Ministry of Manpower | Joana Taborda |
1/29/2014 9:10:51 AM