Unemployment in Singapore remained low in December, with more locals employed while the growth of foreign workers continued to moderate, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) said on Friday (Jan 30).
The overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 1.9 per cent for the month, while the resident unemployment rate fell to 2.6 per cent from 2.8 per cent, and the citizen unemployment rate fell to 2.6 per cent from 2.9 per cent.
For the whole of 2014, the overall unemployment rate was 2 per cent, with residents at 2.7 per cent and citizens at 2.9 per cent, broadly unchanged from the previous year.
More workers were retrenched in the fourth quarter amid business restructuring, MOM said. A total of 3,800 workers were laid off during the quarter, up from 3,500 in the preceding quarter and 3,660 in the same period the previous year. For the whole of 2014, 12,800 workers were laid off, higher than the 11,560 in 2013.
The ministry also said there was a “sustained increase” in median income for Singaporeans over the last five years. The median monthly income from work of full-time employed citizens (including employer Central Provident Fund contributions) increased by 30 per cent from S$2,748 in 2009 to S$3,566 in 2014, or 5.3 per cent per annum.
Low-wage workers also saw an increase in income during the period, MOM said. Income (including employer CPF contributions) at the 20th percentile of full-time employed citizens rose by 26 per cent from S$1,468 in 2009 to S$1,856 in 2014, or 4.8 per cent per annum. The increase after adjusting for inflation was 8.1 per cent or 1.6 per cent per annum.