Singapore‘s robust economy created a record 124,500 jobs in the first nine months of the year, surpassing even the employment gains of 113,300 in 2005.
The employment creation from January to September this year is the highest ever recorded, says the Ministry of Manpower in its Third-Quarter Labour Market report.
The report also says the number of jobs created in the third quarter alone was an all-time high of 43,000.
The figure is 14,500 more than the jobs created in the same period last year.
During the third quarter ended September, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 2.7 percent, down slightly from 2.8 percent in the previous quarter and 3.2 percent for the same period in 2005.
“In summary, the sustained economic expansion has created record number of jobs. Unemployment has also eased substantially from the high in 2003,” says the MOM report.
Singapore’s seasonally unemployment rate at the end of December 2003 was 3.9 percent, the year that the trade-led economy suffered from the fallout of the US-led invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome disease that affected mainly East Asia.
Retrenchment figures also improved in the third quarter of this year.
2,435 workers were retrenched, an improvement from the previous quarter (3,211) and the third quarter of last year (2,810).
This brings the total number retrenched in the first nine months this year to 9,157 workers, says the MOM.
And CPF records showed that the re-employment rate (within six months of retrenchment) of those retrenched improved to 74% in September, the highest in slightly over a decade.The re-employment rate for degree holders aged 50 and above also improved strongly.
But MOM says it remains to be seen if this is the start of an improving trend in re-employment prospects for older degree holders.
The services sector accounted for the most number of job vacancies in the third quarter. This was followed by the manufacturing sector.
Looking ahead, the Ministry says it believes year-end bonuses could be higher this year as more employers seek to reward their employees through bonuses rather than basic salary.
Singapore’s gross domestic product is targeted to grow 7.5-8.0 percent in 2006, making it the second fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia after Vietnam where the government has estimated growth of 8.2 percent this year.
Source: Channel NewsAsia, 15 December 2006