In the fourth quarter of 2015, citizen unemployment fell slightly to 3.0 percent from 3.1 percent in the previous quarter while resident unemployment decreased to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent.
Some 5,370 workers were laid off, up from 3,460 workers in the September quarter but similar to the fourth quarter of 2014 (3,910). About 50 percent of residents made redundant in the third quarter of 2015 secured employment by December 2015, down from 55 percent from the previous quarter, and 59 percent from the same period a year ago.
Total employment grew for the third straight quarter by 16,600, but remained significantly lower than the growth of the same quarter a year ago (40,700).
For the whole of 2015, the annual average unemployment rate stood at 1.9 percent, broadly unchanged since 2011. Unemployment among citizens remained stable at 2.9 percent from a year earlier, while those among residents came in at 2.8 percent from 2.7 percent in 2014. On average, 62,500 residents including 55,700 Singapore citizens were unemployed in 2015, as compared to the corresponding figures of 61,200 and 53,900 in the preceding year. Cumulatively, more workers were laid off in 2015 (15,580) than in 2014 (12,930). The annual number of redundancies has been on an uptrend since 2010, reflecting on-going business restructuring, as well as softer economic conditions in 2015. Layoffs increased across all sectors in 2015. Services formed the bulk of redundancy (55 percent), followed by manufacturing (33 percent) and construction (11 percent).
Total employment in 2015 grew by 32,300 (+0.9 percent), the lowest since 2003. The growth slowed across all sectors, notably contracting in manufacturing (-22,100), wholesale & retail trade (-9,400) and real estate services (-5,100). The declines were offset by growth in most sectors, led by community, social and personal services (22,400 or 13,400 excluding FDW), administrative & support services (12,300), construction (8,600) and professional services (7,700). Other sectors that added workers in 2015 include information & communications (5,400), food & beverage services (5,200), financial & insurance services (4,500) and transportation & storage (3,100).