SINGAPORE: Retrenchments rose in the first quarter of the year, driven by losses in the manufacturing sector, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Jun 13).
According to MOM, retrenchments increased from 2,510 in the previous quarter to 3,230 in the first three months of 2019.
This, the ministry added, was driven by manufacturing (from 380 in the previous quarter to 1,040) and primarily affected production and related workers from electronics.
Electronics formed 18 per cent of retrenchments in the first quarter, followed by services industries such as wholesale trade (16 per cent) and transportation and storage (10 per cent).
Overall, the labour market held up in the first quarter, said MOM.
Total employment rates climbed higher than that of the same period last year, growing by about 10,700, excluding foreign domestic workers.
The services sector was the main driver of total employment growth, while construction posted its first employment gain in three years, reflecting an increase in both public and private sector construction activities.
"The tightness in the labour market may ease, as job vacancies declined for the first time in two years and retrenchments rose in this quarter," MOM said.
RESIDENT LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DIPS
The resident unemployment rate held steady at 3 per cent, while long-term unemployment rate declined from 0.8 per cent in December 2018 to 0.7 per cent in March 2019.
Among retrenched residents, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) continued to make up the majority (69 per cent), as they form a higher share of the workforce, and were more prone to retrenchments
The six-month re-entry rate among retrenched residents rose for the second consecutive quarter to 66 per cent.
However, citizen unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.1 per cent in December 2018 to 3.2 per cent in March 2019. Seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rates remained unchanged at 2.2 per cent.
MORE JOB VACANCIES THAN SEEKERS, DESPITE DECLINE IN VACANCIES
The seasonally adjusted number of job vacancies declined from 62,300 in December 2018 to 57,100 in March 2019, the first decline after seven consecutive quarters of increase.
However, in the first quarter of the year, there continued to be more job vacancies than job seekers, despite the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipping slightly from 1.10 in December 2018 to 1.08 in March 2019.