Fewer workers laid off in Q1 2016: Manpower Ministry

April 29, 201611:51 am378 views

SINGAPORE: Fewer workers were laid off in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter, although the number was higher compared to the same period a year ago, according to preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (Apr 28).

Between January and March, 4,600 workers were made redundant, compared to the 5,370 that were laid off between October and December. A total of 3,500 workers were laid off in the same period last year.

Fewer workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors were laid off, but more were made redundant in the services industry, according to the ministry.


Employment grew at a slower pace in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, due to the end of the festive period.

Total employment grew by 11,400, lower than the seasonally high growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 at 16,100 and a reversal from the decline of -6,100 in the first quarter of 2015.

The employment increase was mainly driven by the services sector, although growth had slowed compared to the previous quarter due to the festive period, MOM said.

Employment in the manufacturing sector fell for the sixth consecutive quarter with a decline of 2,000 jobs. However, the rate of decline had slowed relative to the previous five quarters, which saw declines of 4,700 on average.

The construction industry saw an employment increase of 1,600 jobs, an increase from 900 in the previous quarter.

Total employment reached nearly 3.67 million in March, 1.4 per cent higher than a year ago and faster than the 0.9 per cent pace in December 2015.


The proportion of Singaporeans that were unemployed declined during the quarter. Among Singapore citizens, the unemployment rate declined from 3 per cent to 2.6 per cent from December 2015 to March 2016. The rate also declined among residents from 2.9 per cent to 2.7 per cent over the same period.

The decline was largely due to a lower labour force participation rate among youths aged 15 to 24, the ministry said.

The overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.9 per cent.

“Amid the cyclical weakness and as the economy restructures, some consolidation and exit of businesses is expected, contributing to redundancies,” the ministry said in a statement.

“While unemployment remains low and has declined for locals, MOM is closely monitoring the current economic and labour market situation, and is working closely with tripartite partners to strengthen employment support to help displaced locals re-enter employment.”

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