By Kevin Varley
(Bloomberg) — Layoffs in Singapore slid to a record low during the first three months of the year, while the resident unemployment rate fell for the third straight quarter, as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
Retrenchments fell to 1,300, or 0.6 per 1,000 employees during January-March, according to estimates released Thursday by the Ministry of Manpower. Meanwhile, the resident unemployment rate came in at 3% and overall unemployment declined to 2.2%. Non-resident employment formed the bulk of job increases during the period, mainly in the construction sector.
“With the progressive lifting of border restrictions, the increase in non-resident employment was significantly greater than that of resident employment, as employers replenished their non-resident workforce,” it said.
Strong demand for jobs came from information technology and digital solutions, as well as financial services, while seasonal hiring declined in food, retail and accommodation after the year-end holidays, the ministry said.
The ministry also said it expects the resident unemployment to stay low as the relaxation of border measures this month continues to benefit the economy.
Downside risks to the jobs outlook include the war in Ukraine, protracted pandemic-driven global supply disruptions and monetary policy tightening in advanced economies, all of which could influence business sentiment, the ministry said in the report.
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