Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.2 percent in the December quarter 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous period and in line with the preliminary estimate, final data showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the second quarter 2017 on the back of continued expansion in domestic economy. Considering full 2018, unemployment rate inched lower to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in 2017. Unemployment Rate in Singapore averaged 2.43 percent from 1986 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 6 percent in the first quarter of 1986 and a record low of 1.40 percent in the second quarter of 1990.

Unemployment Rate in Singapore is expected to be 2.20 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in Singapore to stand at 2.10 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Singapore Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 2.40 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

Singapore Unemployment Rate
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-10-26 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Prel 2.1% 2% 2.1%
2018-12-13 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Final 2.1% 2.1% 2.1%
2019-01-31 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Prel 2.2% 2.1% 2.20%
2019-03-14 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Final 2.2% 2.1% 2.20%
2019-04-26 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Prel 2.2% 2.20%
2019-06-13 02:30 AM Unemployment Rate Final 2.2% 2.20%
2019-07-27 03:30 AM Unemployment Rate Prel 2.20%



Singapore Q4 Jobless Rate Confirmed Highest in 1-1/2 Years

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.2 percent in the December quarter 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous period and in line with the preliminary estimate, final data showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the second quarter 2017 on the back of continued expansion in domestic economy. Considering full 2018, the unemployment rate inched lower to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in 2017.

In the three months to December, the jobless rate inched higher for both residents (3.0 percent from 2.9 percent) and citizens (3.1 percent from 3.0 percent). 

Total employment (excluding foreign domestic workers/ (FDW) rose by 14,700, slightly lower than in the previous quarter (16,700), but still higher than the same quarter a year ago (10,700). Job losses were observed in manufacturing (-2,000, the bulk from petroleum, chemical & pharmaceutical products (-1,200)), after an increase in Q3 (3,500); and construction (-400) amid weakness in public sector construction activities. Meantime, job gains were recorded in services (17,000 excluding FDW) supported by hiring for festive season, namely food & beverage services (3,700) and retail trade (3,200). 

Some 2,510 workers were laid off, down from 2,860 workers in Q3 and from 3,680 a year earlier. The increase in services was more than offset by lower layoffs in manufacturing. Retrenchments in construction remained similar. 

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents rose to 64 percent in Q4 from 62 percent in Q3. The rise was observed for most age, education and occupational groups, except for residents aged 50 & over, as well as those with diploma & professional qualifications.

The number of job vacancies continued its uptrend since 2017, rising to 62,300 in Q4 from 58,800 in Q3. As the increase in unemployed persons was relatively smaller, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons rose to 1.10 in Q4 from from 1.05 in Q3, and was broadly similar to the ratio in Q2 (1.08).

For full 2018, the annual average unemployment rate edged down to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in 2017, which was the highest annual figure since 2010. Unemployment fell for both resident (2.9 percent from 3.1 percent in 2017) and citizens (3.0 percent from 3.3 percent). 

Total employment  grew 38,300; the highest since 2014 (122,100), rebounding from a 10,700 decline in 2017. Local employment growth (27,400) was more than double that of foreigners (10,900). Local employment growth was also the highest since 2014 (96,000), while the foreign employment increase occurred after two consecutive years of dereases. The services sector added some 47,800 workers, led by community, social & personal services (10,700, around half from health & social services), information & communications (8,400) and transportation & storage (7,700). In contrast, total employment continued to fall in manufacturing (-2,400) and construction (-7,100), but the contraction eased. If marine shipyard was excluded, total employment in manufacturing would have increased by 1,100 instead.

Total retrenchments continued to decline in 2018 to 10,730, the lowest since 2011. Taking into account the size of the workforce, the incidence of retrenchment had been on a downtrend, and the 2018 rate (5.1 retrenched per 1,000 employees) was the lowest in the past decade.
The annual re-entry rate into employment among retrenched residents dipped to 63 percent in 2018 from 65 percent in 2017. Re-entry rates in the current three years have been lower than preceding years. This partly reflects the increasing share of those older, PMETs, and degree holders who tended to have below-average re-entry rates. 


Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
3/14/2019 10:14:32 AM



Singapore Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 2.20 2.10 6.00 1.40 percent [+]
Employed Persons 3715.80 3669.50 3715.80 1714.20 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 100.20 106.90 124.10 25.80 Thousand [+]
Average Weekly Hours 45.00 45.50 46.30 45.00 [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 67.70 67.70 68.30 55.30 percent [+]
Labour Costs 117.00 108.30 136.30 57.37 Index Points [+]
Productivity 117.00 108.30 136.30 57.37 Index Points [+]
Job Vacancies 57800.00 63300.00 67400.00 12000.00 [+]
Wages 5752.00 4962.00 5808.00 1302.00 SGD/Month [+]
Population 5.64 5.61 5.64 1.65 Million [+]
Retirement Age Women 62.00 62.00 62.00 62.00 [+]
Retirement Age Men 62.00 62.00 62.00 62.00 [+]
Employment Change 16.90 19.30 73.20 -26.00 Thousands Person [+]


Singapore Unemployment Rate

In Singapore, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. This page provides the latest reported value for - Singapore Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Singapore Unemployment Rate - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
2.20 2.10 6.00 1.40 1986 - 2018 percent Quarterly




Country Last Previous
South Africa 27.10 Dec/18
Spain 14.45 Dec/18
Turkey 13.50 Dec/18
Brazil 12.00 Jan/19
Italy 10.50 Jan/19
Argentina 9.00 Sep/18
France 8.80 Dec/18
Euro Area 7.80 Jan/19
India 6.10 Dec/18
Saudi Arabia 6.00 Sep/18
Canada 5.80 Feb/19
Indonesia 5.34 Sep/18
Australia 5.00 Jan/19
Russia 4.90 Jan/19
United Kingdom 4.00 Dec/18
China 3.80 Dec/18
United States 3.80 Feb/19
South Korea 3.70 Feb/19
Mexico 3.60 Jan/19
Netherlands 3.60 Jan/19
Germany 3.20 Jan/19
Switzerland 2.70 Feb/19
Japan 2.50 Jan/19
Singapore 2.20 Dec/18


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