Total employment (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers/FDW) increased by 4,000
, far lower than the prior quarter (10,700), and less than the second quarter 2018 (6,500). Employment growth was seen in sectors such as information & communications, professional services, community, social & personal services and financial Services, although the increases were mostly offset by a decline in employment in retail trade. As a result, employment growth in services slowed. Meanwhile, employment in construction picked up. In contrast, employment in manufacturing continued to contract for the third consecutive quarter, as output declined.
Some 2,300 workers were laid off, down from the preceding quarter (3,230) and from he June quarter a year ago (3,030). This suggested that most employers are not laying off existing workers, but exercising greater caution in hiring even when they have unfilled vacancies. Over the quarter, declines were observed across all three broad sectors (manufacturing, construction and services).